Euro 2008

McLeish in confident mood

Scots aiming to end Ukraine's hopes

McLeish: Confident

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Alex McLeish says the Scotland squad are in a confident frame of mind ahead of their Euro 2008 qualifier with Ukraine.

The Scots go into the game at Hampden Park sitting proudly at the top of Group B after a superb qualification campaign.

Scotland require just seven points to be sure of their place in next summer's finals in Austria and Switzerland and McLeish says morale is high ahead of the visit of Ukraine.

Massive game

"Everybody is in good form, fine fettle and looking forward to a massive game for us," said McLeish.

"It is another game, we are looking to the future, we find ourselves in a great position because of past performances and we are entitled to believe we can have another good one.

"They have that confidence and the belief because of what they've done.

"They have proved it is pure belief because they have gone on to the pitch and performed and got those great results."

McLeish believes his side can go into the game without any pressure following their superb recent results and that the Ukraine tie it not a must-win encounter for his troops.

"I think as long as everybody gets the realisation that we may not win, it can maybe relax the players a bit more, rather than saying they must win," added McLeish.

"If there's an acceptance of the fact you may not win then I think everybody will go into the game with good belief and confidence and without being complacent.

"I don't think it's 'do or die'. We can still qualify if we don't win this game, of course we can."

McLeish expects the visitors to attack his side at Hampden Park as they look to keep alive their slim hopes of qualification, as he believes victory for his side will end Ukraine's bid to qualify.

Three points
"I know they need to get the three points so I would expect them to have a go at us," added McLeish.

"If we were to beat Ukraine tomorrow they'd certainly be out of it.

"The other teams (France and Italy) will definitely pick up points - they've got to win to keep their hopes alive."


McLeish also confirmed that Jamie Langfield had been called up the squad following the withdrawal of Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

McGregor pulled out of the squad for Saturday's clash with Ukraine and next week's trip to Georgia with a shoulder problem.

Langfield has been drafted in to provide cover for Craig Gordon and David Marshall after winning his place back in the Aberdeen side recently.