Strikers Start For Stark
Updated Monday, 11th October 2010
No chance of the Under 21s lining up without a striker tonight
Billy Stark could use the much-criticised 4-6-0 formation in the future with his Under 21 side but not tonight against Iceland. The second leg of their European Championship play-off at Easter Road will not see a side coming out a goal down in the tie without a striker in view. Manager of the national A side, Craig Levein has come in for some heavy criticism over the weekend after he sent his Scotland side out without any strikers for the EURO012 qualifier against the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday night. Home goalkeeper Petr Cech enjoyed his quietest 90 minutes of his career in a game in which Scotland eventually lost 1-0 to a Roman Hubnik header. Stark's youngsters trail 2-1 from the first leg in Reykjavik and the former Aberdeen and Celtic midfielder is preparing his line-up for the return game.
He said: "There has been a bit of talk about that formation (4-6-0) being something that coaches at the top level will use over the next few years but we will need to wait and see. I wouldn't rule anything out but it's not something I have thought about. To be honest with you, how you set up your team is important, of course, but people are bewitched by formations. You can look at a team and come up with a formation that I think is a wee bit different. So I don't set too much store by that. What it comes down to is players and how you utilise them. You look at the players at your disposal, the opposition, the whole circumstances of the game and you try to come up with the best possible way of winning it. It is as simple as that. We have to win this game. We are at home. We have to be aware that they are really dangerous, full of quality and pace and it would be naive to think we would be able to go through the game without having to defend. But we intend to put them under more pressure than we did at their place, that's for sure."
Scotland's Under 21 are looking to qualify for the finals for the first time since 1996 and Stark admits the enormity of the possible achievement might have affected them in the first leg in Iceland. He said: "I can sense that they know that (not qualified since 1996) and that might have had something to do with the use of the ball over there. The second game has increased in importance but I think it will be a really difficult task. On reflection, 2-1 was a really good result because they put us under pressure. The comforting thing is we know we can play better. Against that we seen how potent and powerful they are going forward and we will still have to cope with that. But it's a big thing for us and we are going to give it our best shot."
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