Craig Wighton says last year’s Toulon Tournament shows Scotland “can beat anybody” as they hope to go better than 2017’s third-place finish.
The Dundee forward joined up with the Scotland squad this week for the U/20 competition in France that gets under way this weekend.
The prestigious tournament in the south of France has helped launch the careers of future world stars like Jean-Pierre Papin, David Ginola, Alan Shearer, Rui Costa, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez and attracts the best young footballers from across the world, as well as a host of scouts.
Coach Scot Gemmill has named a young squad this time around but hopes are high from Wighton they can emulate the class of 2017 by making a run to the latter stages.
Last year, the 20-year-old Dundonian was on the scoresheet in the third-place play-off win over the Czech Republic after beating Brazil and Indonesia in the group stage.
In 2018, however, Wighton is one of the older heads alongside the likes of West Brom’s Oliver Burke and Kilmarnock full-back Greg Taylor.
Wighton said: “A lot of the boys in the squad don’t really know each other because it’s quite a young squad we’ve went with.
“There’s only seven or eight that were there last year so we’ll need to get to know each other in training and how each other plays.
“I’m sure by the first game of the tournament we’ll be ready and the management will have us set up.
“Whoever plays, whether it is some of the younger boys, I think it’s good to have a mix who have been there and have a bit of experience of that level and the younger boys coming through with a lot of potential.
“It’s another good opportunity for myself and the other boys who have been before to go back and, hopefully, go better than we did last time, even though it was successful.
“We probably over-achieved after losing the first game but you always want to be doing better when you go back to these things.”
Last time around, the young Scots fell to a 3-2 defeat to the Czechs before seeing off Brazil 1-0 and then defeating Indonesia.
A 3-0 semi-final defeat to England followed before they got revenge over the Czech Republic in the third-place play-off.
This year they again have a tough group to negotiate with hosts France their second opponents, next Wednesday.
First up, though, is Togo on Sunday, kick-off 4.30pm, before they finish the group against South Korea on Saturday, June 2.
After his injury-hit season that only got started in April, despite coming up against these young stars and having plenty of eyes watching, Wighton is firmly focused on getting himself closer to full fitness by the time the Dark Blues meet up for pre-season.
He added: “It’s a well-known tournament with a lot of people going to watch so I’ll be looking to go and put in some good performances there and then come back for Dundee next season fit and ready to go.
“We’ve got France, South Korea and Togo.
“France will be a good side and well supported as well.
“That’ll be a tough game but we played Brazil last year and got a result against them so we know we can beat anybody on our day.
“We’ll need to be right at it and everybody will need to contribute.”