Levein: Finishing is key to Scotland hopes
Scotland boss Craig Levein says the quality of his side's finishing will be the key to them recording the first win of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign against Liechtenstein at Hampden Park tomorrow night.
Scotland created a slew of chances in their opening group game against Lithuania in Kaunas on Friday, but failed to convert any of them as they were held to a disappointing goalless draw. That display followed on the back of last month's comprehensive 3-0 friendly defeat in Sweden, and Levein knows his side cannot afford to take the visitors lightly tomorrow night.
"We will have to take our chances," he said. "We can create as many chances as we like but if we don't take them it's irrelevant. In international football, compared to what happens at club level, the amount of chances are a lot less.
"I don't think throwing every creative player that we've got onto the pitch automatically means that we are going to score more goals. It's about balance. It's about putting the right people in the positions they are comfortable with. We also can't be disrespectful to Liechtenstein. This is not a team who are amateurish. They are well drilled, we have watched loads of their DVDs, they are very well organised.
"I think you guys (the media) are maybe a little bit disrespectful of Liechtenstein, that you think it's just as simple as throwing all our best players on the pitch and not worrying too much about them because they're not going to score anyway. That's not how the game works."
McLeish will be without Kirk Broadfoot (ankle) and will wait on the fitness of Steven Whittaker, Scott Brown, Lee Wallace and Kevin McNaughton. His opposite number Hans-Peter Zaugg will have Lucas Eberle and Yves Oehri available, despite the pair being forced off with injuries during Friday's 4-0 defeat to reigning champions Spain.
Tomorrow night's other game sees the Czech Republic begin their campaign by hosting Lithuania. Coach Michal Bilek is expected to hand a first cap to 22-year-old Marek Suchy in defence after failing to coax Tomas Ujfalusi out of retirement with Tomas Sivok out injured.
Czech hopes of making a winning start to their campaign will be high as they have won all four of the previous meetings between the two sides, scoring 13 goals and conceding just three. And Lithuania midfielder Deividas Semberas believes the Czechs will provide a much tougher test than Scotland did in their opener. "The Czechs play more technical football than the Scots, besides it's an away match so it's always harder," he said. "We expect a very tough game."
Coach Raimondas Zutautas is set to have Hearts midfielder Marius Zaliukas and striker Andrius Velicka available but Deividas Cesnauskis misses out again.