Fletcher expects no favours

Scotland skipper aware of Dutch threat

Fletcher: Focus required

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Darren Fletcher is aware that Holland will not be taking things easy against Scotland on Wednesday.

Scotland v Holland
7.30pm, Wed, Sky Sports 2 & HD2

The Dutch have already booked their place at next summer's World Cup after taking maximum points from their seven games so far.

In contrast, Scotland require victory at Hampden Park in midweek to give them any hope of securing a play-off spot.

It has been suggested that Holland could use the forthcoming fixture to rest key personnel or experiment with a different approach.

Fletcher, though, does not expect one of the best sides in world football to be too far short of their best when they arrive in Scotland.

"When you've got no pressure, sometimes you can loosen up and perform better," said Fletcher of a side who have already beaten Norway since qualifying.

"Everyone says Holland are through - they won't care about this match.

"But any Holland player who plays in this game will be thinking, 'Can I get in the team for the World Cup?'. What a massive incentive that is.

"We can't control what Holland team turns up or how they play. All we can do is think of ourselves and prepare for the game in the right way. That starts now."


Scotland kept their qualification dreams alive with a 2-0 win over Macedonia on Saturday, but the victory came at a cost.

Callum Davidson lasted just 13 minutes before limping off with a hamstring injury, while James McFadden picked up a caution which will rule him out against the Dutch.

"He'll (Davidson) be there, even if he's still a bit sore," said Fletcher.

"I'm sure that if he's got a chance to play, he'll strap up and get on with it because he's that type of player."

On the loss of McFadden, Fletcher added: "Faddy's like an enigma for Scotland; he gives us that something different.

"He knew at half-time (against Macedonia) he was missing the Holland game, but he didn't let it affect him.

"He went out second half, performed like that, scored the second goal and showed great character."