SCOT GEMMILL’S under-21 Scotland side may have started off their Euro qualifying campaign in flawless fashion but he is quick to stress that there will be no hint of complacency as his side take on Lithuania at Tynecastle this evening.

Victories over San Marino and Czech Republic last month mean the Scots sit in joint first place with Greece in Group D with six points and while, on paper, a victory over Lithuania this evening should be forthcoming, Gemmill knows how easy slip-ups can happen.

“Historically, in my opinion, these are the games where Scotland don’t do well at any age level,” he said.

“We’ve just beaten Croatia - a Pot One team - away. Last year we beat Holland home and away but drew at home to Latvia. They are an equivalent Pot Five team [to Lithuania]. But these are the games where you have to find a way.”

The Scotland backroom team have studied the Lithuanians closely ahead of tonight’s game and he has relayed to his players just how tough a match he thinks they are in for. That, however, in Gemmill’s opinion, is the point of under-21 football; to expose his players to such challenges.

“I see the games as hurdles they need to get over in terms of performance,” he said.

“It’s going to be very tough against Lithuania. I’ve watched the games they’ve played and they are absolutely on it in terms of being physical. I don’t think this will be like an international game. It will be almost like a Scottish Cup game, especially at Tynecastle with the smaller dimensions.

“I’ve been impressed with Lithuania. We are absolutely in for a game where we need to be on it.

Lithuania are coming with everything they’ve got. No doubt, they will be coming with real intent and our players have to get over that hurdle.”

At last week’s Scotland squad announcement, manager Steve Clarke name-checked Ryan Porteous and while Gemmill was full of praise for the Hibs defender, he believes it is impossible to predict whether or not players are ready for the full squad before they are thrown into that environment.

“Steve’s knowledge of the players is excellent,” he said of Clarke.

“He doesn’t miss a trick, he knows them all. Is Ryan ready for a call-up? That’s a question only Ryan can answer in his performances.

“I don’t care how experienced you are - and I’m talking as someone who has worked in youth football for a number of years - you never know for certain until you put them in.

“Whichever players are lucky enough to progress they have to take the opportunity.”