|Craig Levein claims to know how to unlock the defence of world champions Spain despite branding them the strongest opponents the national team have ever faced. Spain will be lining up at Hampden in the EURO2012 qualifier with full points while Scotland are recovering from a defeat in the Czech Republic when Levein failed to put anyone up front until after Roman Hubnik scored in the 70th minute what turned out to be the only goal of the game. But Levein is keen to move on from the widespread criticism of his 4-6-0 formation and look ahead to the visit of the world and European champions. The Scotland manager insisted criticism of his Prague tactics did not concern him or impact on his beliefs but he hinted there would be a slightly more ambitious approach against Spain. On Friday night Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas briefly brought his side level following Fernando Llorente's second-half opener before the Group I favourites went on to record a 3-1 victory in Salamanca. And Levein's spies have seen enough to give him hope that the Spanish defence can be breached at a jam-packed Hampden.
Levein said: "Let's be honest, we're probably facing the best team Scotland have ever played. They play an attractive brand of football, they have players of a technical quality that is to be admired. Their recent results and competitions that they have won would lead me to believe they are possibly the best team Scotland have ever played. The thing for me is we are at home, we are going to have a complete sell-out. Our guys have watched Spain, not just against Lithuania, but on five or six occasions now. I feel there are areas that we can exploit. We're at home, it's really important we get the supporters right behind us and we will see what we can do. We'd like to get a goal, we would like to get two goals. It's a home match. You have always got to hope you can pick up points at home. In this group, home matches were always going to be critical. It's a game that we need to try and express ourselves in and try to win, it's as simple as that."
Despite apparently aiming for a goalless draw in Prague, Levein spoke enthusiastically about his squad's prospects and he insisted there would be no difficulty in geeing them up for the game against Spain. Levein said: "I don't think anybody is looking back. The players are excited about this match. They all want to play. Now that I've worked with these guys for a little bit and managed to form some sort of squad that is going to be together for a while - and they will be because there is a lot of good young players - then I get excited by that because there is a great possibility with this squad. It's certainly the biggest game I've been involved in and it will be the same for a lot of players. You will see a group of players who feel privileged to be involved with the Scottish national team. They will do everything they can against Spain to win the game. They are excited about it and I can't stress enough the importance of being at home. We need to use that our advantage the best we can. We've won some very big matches in the past when we haven't been expected to do so and I would love that to be the same again."
Ger Harley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Admin Team (email@example.com)
This is Scottish-Fitba.Net