UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
Scotland v The Netherlands
Wednesday 29 February 2012, kick-off 5.30pm
St Mirren Park, Paisley
Advance sale: £6 adults/£2 kids
Group offer: £30 for 5 adults and 20 kids
Cash gate: £8 adults/£2 kids
Paul Hanlon believes a win for Scotland in their vital UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying match against the Netherlands later this month will go a long way in helping to secure a play-off place.
Scotland earned a 2-1 victory over the Dutch in November to move to within a point of the group ten leaders and Scotland under-21 captain Hanlon thinks the Scots can repeat that result on 29 February.
He said: “The win in the Netherlands was a massive confident boost for us and we want to take that confidence into the home match.
“We scored two quality goals through Jordan Rhodes and David Wotherspoon and we defended well to limit them to only a few chances.
“There is a lot belief in the squad and without underestimating our opponents, we think we have enough in our locker to beat them again.
“We know we can move to the top of the group with another win and that will put us in a good position to qualify for the play-offs.
“We’re in a difficult group but our aim at the start of the campaign was to qualify for the play-offs and can still achieve that goal.”
Scotland have yet to win a qualifying match at their new home, St Mirren Park, after draws with Bulgaria and Austria and Hibernian star Hanlon wants to change that trend with a win against the Netherlands.
“I think we’ve had enough chances to win our home games,” he explained, “but it just hasn’t gone our way so far.”
“Bulgaria and Austria are tough opponents but we were perhaps hoping to take more than two points from those games.
“Thankfully we’ve picked up maximum points away from home and still have decent chance of progressing form the group.
“We’re still the only unbeaten team in the group and we want to keep that going but we need to make the most of our remaining home games and that starts with the Netherlands.”
Hanlon was part of the under-21 squad that recorded some impressive victories to top their group in the last qualifying campaign but ranks the Scots’ win over the Dutch as one of the best he has experienced in the dark blue of Scotland.
He said: “It was definitely one of the best wins I have experienced as an under-21 player.
“In the last qualifying campaign we beat Austria to make the play-offs in our final game of the group and that was a great occasion but the win over the Netherlands was just as sweet as they are a quality nation.
“To beat them in their own back yard was fantastic and our aim is to repeat that result at St Mirren Park and move to the top of our group.”
Tickets for Scotland’s vital UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier against the Netherlands are on sale now priced at just £6 for adults and £2 for kids.
Thursday, 09 February 2012