Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic looks forward to a full house at Hampden tomorrow for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Scotland - and urged the Tartan Army to back their team.
The road to Brazil in two years' time starts for both teams in Glasgow where they will be looking for the early edge in a group which also contains Belgium, Croatia, Macedonia and Wales.
Mihajlovic was flanked by captain and Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov at the Hampden press conference this afternoon before training. Speaking through an interpreter, the former Red Star Belgrade, Lazio and Inter Milan defender replied to a question about a passionate home support.
"We play football for supporters. I love to see a full crowd, it is important that supporters come to this match and that will be a great thing for us," he said. "I would kindly request of Scottish fans; please continue to support your team even if you concede a goal. Scotland has a good team at the moment. Our group is very equal, anybody can win each game and that means Scotland can qualify.
"We have studied the Scotland team and we know the players and tactics very well but maybe they will surprise us tomorrow as we prepare a surprise for them," he said. "We know from which part of the team and which player can be the most dangerous, but we also saw some weaknesses and we will try to exploit them. It is important to win the game for the psychological side, but we have ten matches in the group."
Skipper Ivanovic claimed his criticism of Scotland in some media quarters today was due to him being misquoted. He was reported as saying of the Scots: "They become very disoriented when the ball is consistently played on the ground."
"I think this is the media war started," he said. "What you have seen in your media, I think it was mistakes in the translation. We are full of respect for your national team. We know how you play and we expect the atmosphere tomorrow will make it very difficult and tough for us.
"I think this is one of the hardest away games for us, so we will be fully concentrated and we will have to give our maximum to get a positive result," he added. "We have a new faith and a new team, it is a new road for us and we want to start in the best possible way."
The absence of Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher from Craig Levein's squad was again on the agenda. Fletcher informed Levein indirectly by text last year that he did not wish to be considered for international duty and the issue has dogged the Scotland boss since.
Both Serbia players were asked about the former Hibernian striker who recently earned a £12million move from Wolves to the Black Cats. "It is good for us that he is not playing but he is has not played for a long time," he said. "We know how tough it will be so maybe it is a good thing but we are looking out for ourselves. It will be a difficult game because Scotland have enough quality."