Georgia vs Scotland
Friday 4 September, 5pm kick-off
Boris Palchadze Stadium, Tbilisi
National Team Coach Gordon Strachan says his Scotland team share the fans’ nervous excitement ahead of tomorrow's EURO Qualifier against Georgia.
Speaking in Tbilisi, Gordon praised the Georgian team’s display in a 1-0 loss to Scotland last October and is expecting another feisty fixture on Friday.
Scotland fans have already started streaming into the Georgian capital while fans back home begin preparations for a game that could prove crucial to Scotland’s attempts in reaching the European Championship finals in 2016. Gordon believes we’re all in the same boat:
“(The fans) are getting what we’re getting. I’ve had it all through my career when I come up to good games you have this nervous excitement. So we’re in the same boat.
“It doesn’t mean we’re apprehensive or scared it means we’re looking forward to it. When you say to the fans ‘Are you looking forward to the game?’ they’ll say yes. Are we looking forward to the game? Yes. I’m sure the Georgian footballers and fans will feel the same.”
With just three points separating Scotland and group leaders Poland – who visit second-placed Germany on Friday - the game has been labeled as ‘must-win’ by some in the media.
Gordon isn’t so sure on that label and says his team will go out to win no-matter the consequences on the group:
“It could be a big game. It could be of no consequence. We’ve been asking this question since the first game and hopefully we’ll be asking it until the last game in Gibraltar.
“If you’re asking that question then we’re still very much alive and kicking. You never know how important these games are going to be. We try and win every game, no matter who we play.”
Georgia will be looking for revenge after suffering defeat in their last meeting with Scotland. New manager Kakhaber Tskhadadze is likely to have some new ideas up his sleeve and Gordon is expecting another tough encounter:
“I thought the game in Scotland, their attitude was fantastic. Their teamwork and spirit was excellent. That day I thought we had to play our best football of the tournament so far to win. I’m expecting the same as that.”
“They should be proud of their performance in Scotland, as we were proud to beat them. It’s going to be a very competitive game, that’s for sure.”