If one of the biggest tests of leadership is exuding confidence and poise in a tense situation, Andy Robertson certainly passed with flying colours at the Munich Football Arena. Talking to a vast array of journalists from across the continent you'd have hardly known the Scotland captain was about to face the game of his, and his country's, life.

It shouldn't be a surprise that a veteran of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool cuts an impressive and composed figure but with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders he might have been forgiven for betraying a touch of tension. Not a bit of it as he breezily addressed the key issues ahead of the tournament opener, clearly very aware that his team have the opportunity to write their names into history.

Everyone and their Granny knows the painful stat that Scotland have never before reached the knock out stage of a major European competition and it's something Robertson is clearly using as fuel, aware what it would mean to the nation and each of his teammates' personal legacies as internationals.

“We’ve waited years and years for this and now there’s only one more sleep," he beamed. “We can’t wait. I don’t think too much about my own emotions in these situations. But I feel the same as all the others right now, excited and proud.

“In the last Euros we played well in getting a draw at Wembley, but we let ourselves down a bit in the other two games. We know we could have done better. To qualify that last time was massive. To do it twice in a row is incredible. Now, we know we can make history.

“We’ve done the hard bit by qualifying. Now let’s see what else we can do. We’ll need to step things up for the warm-ups games, but when you look at results so will every other team in the tournament. Once we knew we were coming here our standards dropped a little; they shouldn’t, but they did. But now it’s time to get competitive again. It’s time to show what we can do."

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Key to Scotland's ability to reach the last 16 promised land will be the backing of the Tartan Army. Walking around Munich is to feel like the whole of Scotland has travelled to Germany and it's hard to imagine the stadium won't be heavily infiltrated by wily Scots nabbing tickets for every part of the ground. One of the strengths of Steve Clarke's Scotland is in pulling everyone together and there's no doubting a powerful sense of unity can galvanise Scotland to glory.

“We’ve seen all the videos of the fans landing, of them in the squares across the city," he smiled. "We all know so many people who are out here – it feels like most of the country’s come over.

“The Tartan Army have been great with us from Day One. When the gaffer came in there was a conscious decision to try and get them onside, because support at home games had nose-dived, even if the ones who go abroad with us have always been incredible.

“Listen, we know they can’t all get into the stadium tomorrow night – we wish they could – but wherever they are, either here or at home, we want to make them proud. If we perform the way we know we can, they’ll hopefully have a great ten or 12 days."

Some wondered if Robertson might make it at all when he pulled up earlier in the week as Scotland trained. As he limped off the pitch with the nation's medical stuff there was panic as the thought of losing the captain, not long after injuries claimed the likes of Lyndon Dykes, Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson, seemed too much to bear. There were no such worries for Robertson who's been carefully managing an ankle injury since March but his family were like the rest of us.

He said: "It probably didn’t help that the cameras were there and saw it! We were pretty relaxed about it – maybe a bit more so than my family, who knew it about before I could tell them I was fine. Physically, mentally, I feel good and am looking forward to what lies ahead."

While Robertson will lead his team out for the biggest game of his international career, Dykes can't influence proceedings on the grass after his injury. An important part of the dressing room camaraderie that's helped shape recent success, the QPR man has still travelled to Germany as an essential cog in the behind the scenes machine.

“It’s brilliant that we have him here with us now, as a fan or a member of staff, whatever you chose to call him, he said. "Not many people could have handled their emotions well enough to make the trip after what happened to him. He’s so import to us off the pitch, such a big influence. But obviously we’d rather have him out there with us.

“We all know how quickly a tournament can go by you, so we have to make the most of the opportunity we have here. As a group, it doesn’t get much more difficult, but at the same time there’s no outside pressure or expectation on us. All we can do is play to our maximum and see how we go.

“We want to make history. We know what’s at stake. What’s the worst that can happen? We join the list of Scotland teams who haven’t got out of a group?

“We have so many incentives here, but becoming a legendary squad is the biggest. That’s what has to drive us forward. The thought of being the first Scotland team to make a knockout round is our driving force. If we manage that? You just never know."