Craig Levein has tonight issued a rallying cry to the Scotland supporters to roar the national team to victory against FYR Macedonia at Hampden Park tomorrow.
Victory would ensure a positive start to FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 Qualifying Group A after Saturday’s 0-0 opening draw against the No.2 seeds in the group, Serbia.
The National Coach insists Scotland’s prospects will be greatly enhanced with the generation of another electric atmosphereat Hampden Park. More than 47,000 supporters attended Saturday’s draw, the second biggest attendance of the European qualification section.
He paid tribute to the fans for their loyalty and believes their support will be vital if Scotland are to plot a successful path on the Road to Rio.
“I can give you my guarantee that my players will be doing everything in their power to win tomorrow. I can also give you my guarantee that they will give everything they can to qualify for the finals in Brazil,” he said. “My belief that they can achieve that goal is unwavering.
“To give us the best chance possible, I ask the fans to continue to do everything in their power to support us. The relationship between the Scotland team and our fans is special. It is something we should be proud of and protect fiercely. That bond will sustain us throughout the campaign.
“Having read the hysterical reaction from certain sections of the media today, I question whether they are doing everything they can to help our country. Some people have us out of contention already, which is laughable.
“I ask the fans to give us their full support tomorrow and trust our players to do all they can to deliver a victory that would represent a positive start to our campaign.”
The National Coach shares the frustrations of the country that 14 years have elapsed since Scotland last featured in a major tournament, World Cup France 98. However, he stressed that unity is key to realising the hopes and dreams of the nation.
“It is normal for people to be frustrated and I understand that,” he added. “It is part of football. Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since 1998 and with every passing competition, the challenge becomes that bit more difficult and the pressure becomes that bit more intense.
“There are 27 points available in the group. Along the way, we – like every other team in the group – will pick up some points we are expected to and ones we are not.
“Football is our national game and it stirs our passion. Whoever wears the dark blue shirt, and however they line-up, they do so with this in mind: helping Scotlandwin and sending the fans home happy.
“I look forward to our supporters providing another rousing atmosphere tomorrow.”
Craig also took time out from preparations to send a congratulatory message to Andy Murray ahead of his US Open final against Novak Djokovic tonight.
“On behalf of the squad and my backroom team, I would like to send Andy Murray our best wishes ahead of his US Open final tonight. The whole nation will be watching with their fingers crossed but I am sure he willdo Scotland proud and it will be our intention to do likewise tomorrow.”