McLeish dreams of historic win

Scotland boss insists 'we have nothing to lose'

McLeish: The last laugh

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Scotland boss Alex McLeish insists victory over Italy would be the greatest result in the nation's history.

A win over the world champions at Hampden Park next week would secure Scotland's place at next summer's Euro 2008 finals.

And McLeish, who mastered Scotland's win over France in Paris, admits the make-or-break clash is certainly the biggest game of his managerial career.

"This is the most important game so far because of what is at stake and also in terms of prestige," McLeish said.

"If we can beat the world champions here in Glasgow, it would be some feat.

Expectations

"It has been a great feat already. By getting 24 points in this group, we have already exceeded the expectation levels."

And the former Rangers boss - who has been linked with the vacancy at Wigan - says if Scotland pull off a famous win their will be misery on the streets of Rome.

"We've got nothing to lose," he said. "They are the ones with everything to lose.

"It will be hysterical in Italy if Italy lose this because they are the favourites, they are expected to do it.

"I'm sure if Scotland can beat them, they will not be happy bunnies at all.

"They are a quality side, they are the world champions.

"And, as world champions, they are expected to secure passage through to the championships finals. But they have to come to Glasgow to do it.

"I don't want to single out any Italian players, there are too many to name.

Strengths

"But we definitely have to make sure that the strengths of the Italian team are not there on the day.

"We feel we know pretty much how they will play and the personnel that will start the game so we are reasonably well prepared for the match."

Meanwhile, McLeish admits he was a relived man when rumours that Scott Brown had broken his leg in Tuesday's Champions League clash with Benfica were wide of the mark.

McLeish was in Barcelona ahead of Rangers' Champions League tie at the Nou Camp and did not see the shocking tackle from Benfica's Augustin Binya which could have sidelined Brown for months.

Fantastic

He added: "I was getting all sorts of stories over in Barcelona about broken legs and him not going to make it and then we heard that he was fine. I'm delighted, it's great news, fantastic.

"He has been an integral part of the team in the past few games, since cementing his introduction into the international set-up.

"We obviously have a game-plan in mind and Scott would be very important in those plans."