Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann believes his team can usher in a new dawn for the national team tomorrow night, but knows a far-improved Scotland team will make that task tough.

The 36-year-old is less than a year into his role as head coach as Germany gear up to host Euro 2024. With the nation having lost the opening game in their last three major tournaments Nagelsmann admits the pressure his 11 will feel is a privilege as they seek to break years of failure that have followed the 2014 World Cup win in Brazil.

A positive March international break and significant change in the squad has built expectations but the former Bayern Munich manager reiterates it’s time to back up talk with action as the eyes of his nation and the world watch.

“It’s a special moment for me and the whole team, tomorrow we will do our best to convince our fans that we are one of the best competitive teams in the tournament,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk about the past, it’s about where we want to go. We’ve tried to make changes to the squad since March and now we want to go and be more successful than other tournaments. It doesn’t make sense to talk about the past when we’re only focused on where we want to go – to be one of the best nations.

“It’s normal to feel a little bit of pressure before such a tournament. In the end, it’s important to remember that such pressure is a privilege. It’s important to feel a little pressure but we can beat pressure and beat Scotland.

“We have more pressure than Scotland so they will want to capitalise. It will be a very interesting game but if I look in my players’ eyes it has been the same since March, they are looking forward to it and want to win.”

Nagelsmann was full of praise for Steve Clarke’s team and their development since the most recent Euros in 2021. The Germany boss believes it’s a squad that boasts variety – capable of playing directly when needed while still possessing a blend of technique and talent throughout.

“Scotland are a team that doesn’t have world-class starts but that makes them very dangerous. They work very hard and have a classic Scottish mentality. They’ve had an incredible development,” he added.

“They’re not a kick-and-rush team. When they played against Holland and lost 4-0 Scotland were actually better than the Dutch. I think the mentality of the team is to fight for every ball and they’ve made a great journey from a team who plays a lot of long balls and fights for second balls to one who are really good with ball possession. They play a lot of crosses and create stress on a defence.

“Steve Clarke is a well-experienced coach who has spent many years as an assistant manager to many big names so he’s learned a lot in this time. I mentioned transformation because of his brilliant job in the last couple of years. When you watched Scotland a few years ago it was balls in the air and fighting for the seconds, now they are capable in every department. They can counterattack and have a good build-up game, they have effective pressing moments but can defend compactly. They are in a good way and it’s because of the brilliant job of my colleague.”

The German boss also continued his defence of Manuel Neuer. The storied goalkeeper has returned to the fold from a broken leg in recent months while committing a number of high-profile errors, including in the lead-up to Greece’s opener during Germany’s 2-1 friendly win last week.

Nagelsmann is confident that despite sticky moments across that encounter and a 0-0 draw with Ukraine his 38-year-old goalkeeper and team will be ready to perform at top level tonight.

“Manuel and I know how media works but I think my recent statement made it clear. I am sorry but I don’t care what you discuss, with my players it only matters that they have my trust and I’m sure Manuel will have a good tournament.”

Meanwhile, captain Ilkay Gundogan is relishing the opportunity to lead his nation out in Munich tomorrow, nearly 20 years on from watching the last major tournament hosted by Germany, the 2006 World Cup.

“It means a lot and is such a privilege not only to be the captain of this team but simply to be part of this team and atmosphere. Having the tournament in our country is not an opportunity you have often,” he said.

“In 2006 I was watching games as a teenager and now I am part of this team. Representing the German people with pride is such an honour for me and I want to show on the pitch to everyone that I feel that.

“I expect a difficult game against Scotland, knowing a lot of players from the Premier League. Especially the likes of John McGinn, Andy Robertson and Scott McTominay, there is a really experienced axis who play at the highest level with very good teams. We aren’t underestimating them and have lots of respect for them but I also know what we can do. If we reach our potential I am confident that we can win tomorrow.”