Gary proud of home record
Gary Naysmith insists the prospect of facing Italy should hold no fear for Scotland.
Last Updated: 16/11/07 8:28am
Gary Naysmith insists the prospect of facing Italy should hold no fear for Scotland on Saturday.
The full-back watched from the sidelines as France were disposed of both home and away earlier in the campaign to keep Scotland's Euro 2008 hopes alive heading into their final game.
Before that, Holland were humbled at Hampden Park four years ago, while Italy and Germany have both been held to draws on Scottish soil over the last few years.
The national stadium has been a fortress throughout this current campaign and Naysmith sees no reason why that record should not stand against the Azzurri this weekend.
He said: "We've had five home games and five wins. We beat France at home and Ukraine at home and in previous regimes as well we have beaten Holland, drawn with Italy, drawn with Germany so we have had good results against the big teams. From that point of view we are quietly confident."
Naysmith missed both clashes with Les Bleus through injury and is determined to relish this meeting with the world champions.
"I did not play in either of the France games and that is a regret," he admitted.
"Italy and France are both world-class teams, they have world-class players. You don't get to the final of the World Cup otherwise.
"I could not say if Italy are a better team than France. They both have their strengths and they both have their weaknesses and that is what we have to exploit.
"This is a cup final - winner takes all and I prefer that to a play-off home and away.
"Imagine if we had Italy away, everybody would be saying 'Oh it's Italy away.'
"But we are at home and it's the best thing we could have in front of a home crowd where we have a great record."
The Scotland management team have made all the right noises about how their players should be proud of themselves whether they qualify or not.
But Naysmith insisted: "From the players' point of view, we will be failures.
"So far we have had some great results but from my point of view we have done nothing really.
"We want to qualify. We don't want to be glorious failures like Scotland teams in the past.
"If we don't qualify, despite some great results, the players will be really disappointed."