Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher has warned his team-mates not to expect any favours from the Netherlands in 9 September's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier at Hampden.
George Burley's men kept their dream of reaching next summer's finals alive thanks to a superb second-half performance in the 2-0 win over FYR Macedonia, with victory now needed against the Dutch to give Scotland a realistic chance of securing a play-off spot.
The Netherlands have run away with Group 9, and were the first European nation to qualify for the finals back in June. However, Scotland captain Fletcher is not about to fall into the trap of taking victory for granted against one of the best teams in the world.
"When you've got no pressure, sometimes you can loosen up and perform better," said Fletcher. "Everyone says Netherlands are through - they won't care about this match.
"But any Netherlands player who plays in this game will be thinking, 'Can I get in the team for the World Cup?'. What a massive incentive that is. We can't control what Netherlands team turns up or how they play. All we can do is think of ourselves and prepare for the game in the right way. That starts now."
United midfield man Fletcher played his part in a rousing second-half display yesterday, which saw Scotland score two superb goals through Scott Brown and James McFadden.
But it is no understatement to say Macedonia could have been out of sight before then, with Craig Gordon producing three crucial saves to deny the outstanding Goran Pandev.
Any Netherlands player who plays in this game will be thinking, 'Can I
get in the team for the World Cup?'. What a massive incentive that is.
"The game panned out exactly the way the manager said it would," continued Fletcher. "Macedonia are a strong side in the first half and they try to get in the lead; they're good at holding onto that.
"Second half, they're not as fit and fall away in games, and that's exactly the way it turned out. We took the game to them - after big Craig made a great save to keep us in the match - and we went on to win."
However, the talismanic McFadden will now miss Wednesday night's game after picking up a booking just before half-time. Meanwhile, full-back Callum Davidson is definitely out with a hamstring injury that forced him off after just 13 minutes, while Brown is carrying an ankle knock.
Fletcher backed his fellow midfielder to play on through the pain, saying: "He'll be there, even if he's still a bit sore. I'm sure that if he's got a chance to play, he'll strap up and get on with it because he's that type of player."
On the loss of McFadden, Fletcher concluded: "Faddy's like an enigma for Scotland; he gives us that something different.
"He knew at half-time he was missing the Holland game, but he didn't let it affect him. He went out second half, performed like that, scored the second goal and showed great character."