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Scotland ‘not far off’ best in Europe – Porteous



Porteous played in matches against England and Spain last year, nations ranked third and eighth in the world
Venue: Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam Date: Friday, 22 March Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland Extra & BBC Sounds, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app, highlights on BBC One Scotland & iPlayer from 22:40

With the Euros fast approaching, defender Ryan Porteous believes Scotland are “not far off” the best teams going to Germany this summer.

Scotland get the tournament started against the host nation in Germany on 14 June, while they also face Switzerland and Hungary in Group A.

Preparations continue with friendlies against Netherlands and Northern Ireland, with Porteous saying: “These two games are about showing what we can do, particularly in the first game, against the top teams.”

The Watford centre-half added: “That’s why we picked the previous games against England and France, because we want to try to compete against the best and learn how to develop as a team.

“I don’t think we’re far off. We want to grow on and off the pitch. There are certain things we’ve analysed from those games and it’s a good opportunity for us. Hopefully, it will make us ready when the time comes.”

Scotland lost 3-1 at home to England and were beaten 4-1 in France in friendly matches either side of their only defeat in Euro 2024 qualifying; 2-0 away to Spain.

Steve Clarke’s side, who beat Spain in Glasgow, ended a successful campaign with draws against Georgia and Norway, knowing their place in Germany was already secure.

Porteous, 24, has been capped nine times, having made an impressive debut in a battling 0-0 draw against Ukraine two years ago that clinched promotion to the top tier of the Nations League.

He started all but the last of the matches in Euro qualifying, but insists “there are no easy places up for grabs”.

He continued: “I’ve really enjoy it. I feel comfortable. You don’t get any other feeling like playing for Scotland.

“There’s healthy competition. You’ve got fantastic centre-backs in the group, fantastic players in general. There’s a lot of competition but that can only spur me on.

“The manager has always been loyal to me. Even when I wasn’t playing for the national team, he was still calling me up to squads and developing me behind the scenes.

“In the last year, hopefully I’ve shown him enough that I can be involved. I’ve played my part in helping us get there (Euro 2024). It’s always good to repay someone that’s shown a lot of faith in you.”

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