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McCoist still 'very optimistic' despite Scotland injuries

Scotland's injury issues should not "rule them out of finishing in the top two" of their Euro 2024 group, says Ally McCoist.

A first or second-placed finish in Group A, which also includes Germany, Switzerland and Hungary, would guarantee the Scots a first knockout game in a major finals.

Third spot could also secure that, meaning former Scotland striker McCoist is still travelling to Germany with "optimism still at a very, very high level".

Hamstring injuries ruled right-backs Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson out of contention while forward duo Lyndon Dykes and Ben Doak have been removed from the provisional squad in the past week.

Bristol City striker Tommy Conway has been brought in to soften the blow, but a number of other players, such as Liam Cooper, Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong and John Souttar, are still battling to get up to full fitness.

"It's not ideal, but it's part and parcel in the build-up to any big tournament," McCoist told the Press Assocation.

"As disappointing as it's been, for the boys more than anything, optimism is still at a very, very high level for me.

"If there was a league table for optimism, we'd be top of it every year. I don't think the injuries have helped us, but I wouldn't rule out finishing in the top two. I wouldn't rule out anything.

"We'll probably go into all of our games as underdogs, but we'll certainly go into the Germany game as heavy underdogs. That sometimes suits us."