‘SCOTS CAN LEARN FROM CROATIA,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS believes Scotland must use the World Cup progress of Croatia as inspiration.

An extra-time winner from Mario Mandzukic gave the nation a 2-1 triumph over England to seal a place in the Final against France on Sunday.

With a population of just 4 million, Croatia are now just one game from becoming global masters – and the Celtic boss insisted it’s something that the Scottish international set-up could learn from.

Rodgers said: “People will look to the likes of Germany and Brazil and the big countries, but if you’re a small nation it’s probably worthwhile looking at Croatia and Uruguay to see what they’re doing.

“Over a period of years, Croatia have produced teams that have consistently qualified and now they’re in a World Cup Final.

“I’ve been very impressed by that for a really small country. They’ve produced players such as Vedran Corluka who came on in the semi-final and Dejan Lovren is in their playing. And you can talk about Ivan Perisic, too.

“You could go through the squad – very talented players. It should give a great inspiration to countries like Scotland as they’re showing it can be done.

“I haven’t personally studied what they do, but, from a distance, I’ve always been impressed by the level of players they can produce.

“It can’t be an accident, not when you’re sustaining it and qualifying regularly for European Championships and World Cups.

“They clearly have a spirit to fight, certainly in my experience of working with players from Croatia and Serbia, they have a passion in playing for their country, but individually they want to fight.

“And they play a really good level technical game. A lot of them come from a real good technical base and they’re very impressive. ”

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