No Room For Complacency For Under 21s
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2010
Scotland have to focus and get the points before they can relax untill September.
Scotland Under 21 coach, Billy Stark has the experience to pass onto his young charges that they cannot afford to be complacent about tonight's opponents at the Falkirk Stadium. If Scotland win, as they did in the away tie, against Azerbaijan tonight they will move into pole position in UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying group 10. Confidence within the Scotland squad will be high as they prepare to welcome the side they beat 4-0 in Baku back in November. Azerbaijan remain bottom of group with no points.
Three points tonight for Stark's side would allow them to overtake Austria into top spot. Asked about the possibility of topping the group table, Stark said: "We are delighted. We've done well but it's still all in front of us to be honest. We have to make sure we can maximise our position with the game on Tuesday and then look forward to the games against Belarus and Austria, who are the top seeds in the group and are going to be very, very difficult opponents. All we can do is get ourselves into a position and we have done that so far. It is a good position. Looking at the group at the beginning, if you had said, after six games, we would be top of the group, we would have bitten your hand off. That's the carrot that's there for us and we have to show what we have done before - that hunger and desire to win games as much as the ability to get the result."
While the condition of some pitches in the SPL have been the subject of heavy criticism, Stark has no worries about the conditions at Falkirk. He said: "I looked at the Austria-Azerbaijan game, which was the last game played in the group in November, and the pitch was pretty poor. Poorer than what it will be at Falkirk, I'm sure. These things are all tests for you. In Baku, we produced a really good performance and the pitch wasn't great. So it's not a concern in any way, shape or form. The weather conditions are always something you can't legislate for and you have to be ready to perform. If you have to adapt your game to it, that's another part of learning about the game. Hopefully, if we have to do it, we will be able to."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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