Maloney - Scots are confident

Scotland midfielder thinks Hampden Park form will be crucial

Shaun Maloney: Scottish confidence is growing

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Shaun Maloney insists Scotland will be just as confident as Serbia heading into this weekend's opening World Cup qualifier.

Serbia boss Sinisa Mihajlovic has already claimed his side are the better team and heading to Hampden Park for all three points.

But Maloney is content for Scotland to do their talking on the pitch and admits there is plenty of belief in the home camp too after beating Australia 3-1 last month.

Maloney said: "He (Mihajlovic) is obviously confident in his team and he's trying to give his team confidence. On our side of things, I think we have to be just as confident.

"It'll come down to Saturday. I don't think it really makes too much difference whether I sit here and think we will be better and disagree with him.

"The performance on Saturday will dictate who wins the match.

Grown

"I think the confidence in the squad has certainly grown over the last year-and-a-half or so.

"The last campaign ended very well. It started slowly but the confidence grew.

"We had the game against Australia last month that we played well in.

"We are in a reasonable place and now we will see if we can take that into the actual qualifiers."

Craig Levein's side have been handed a tough World Cup qualifying group, which includes Wales, Belgium and Croatia as well as Serbia and next week's opponents Macedonia.

And Maloney believes Scotland's fate will be determined by how they perform at Hampden Park.

Crucial

The Wigan midfielder added: "The home games are pretty crucial.

"All our homes games will probably dictate where we finish in the group. It's imperative that we start off on the right foot.

"I don't know if we need to win every one but in the majority we would need to look at getting wins.

"I think there will be points dropped along the way by most of the teams in the group.

"We need to believe. There is definitely a chance for us to qualify if we are at our best, particularly in the home matches.

"We are pretty optimistic at the start of the campaign and we're just looking forward to the games starting.

"We'll have a week's worth of training before the Serbia game so we're just looking forward to it."