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Lawrence Shankland on why Germany clash will suit him as Hearts striker targets more goals with 'big head'

Lawrence Shankland reckons the Germany fixture could be ideal for him if handed a starting berth.

The Hearts striker answered critics who questioned his suitability at international level by heading home against Finland in the final Euro 2024 warm up match last Friday. Up until then, he hadn't had much of a sight of goal as the visiting defence remained stoic.

It was a similar story against Gibraltar with Scotland relying on Ryan Christie and then Shankland's replacement, Che Adams, to get them goals. The 28-year-old admits the main emotion after finally scoring was relief but is confident there may be more space against a German side which will be more forward thinking.

He said: "I was quite relieved to be back off the mark. To be honest, there was more relief as I didn’t know where it was going when it came off my head! I was waiting for the crowd reaction. When they cheered it was a good feeling. It’s nice to be amongst the goals.

“I felt I was playing well without scoring, but that is part and parcel of the game. I believe as a striker, if you are playing well the goals will come. Performance-wise, it’s about getting used to the players around you. It’s obviously a change from club level for me, and I’ve not had a lot of opportunities to play with these players. It’s just about getting used to it.

“There is maybe a bit of [anxiety]. It’s a special feeling when you score for Scotland – so I was itching to get it. It was about trying to be calm, trying not to snatch at things. I had one wee opportunity in the first half that I maybe snatched at.

“It was about trying to get into positions again. There were a few times the ball dropped, and I wasn’t there. I tried to address it in the second half and thankfully Andy (Robertson) managed to find me.

“Goals always help confidence. But listen, I’m coming off the back of a 30-plus goal season. That’s why I’m here. The goals haven’t been a problem for me this season so I can come here confident if a chance comes along, I can stick it away.

“I was quite pleased with the way I got on the end of the one the other night as I was quite tightly marked. Could there be more space against Germany? We’ll have to wait and see. If a chance comes, hopefully I can get my big head on it!”