Dickov promises striking contrast

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The Independent Football

Paul Dickov is hoping to add Norway to the list of teams he has successfully pestered.

At 5ft 5in tall, the Scotland striker is in stark contrast to his Norwegian counterpart John Carew, who was memorably described as "nearly seven feet tall" by his former coach at Valencia, Rafael Benitez.

The Besiktas striker, who moved to Turkey from Spain in the summer, is a full foot taller but Dickov is confident he can still make as big an impression on the game.

"It is something I have had throughout my career, people going on about my height and everything else," the Blackburn forward said. "But the way I try to play the game is to give my all and try to be a pain in the backside to the defenders.

"So it doesn't really matter if you are five foot or seven foot. Obviously I offer something different to John Carew but I just try to play the way I always have. I don't kid myself that I am going to get the ball, beat five or six players and stick it in the top corner, but I try to play to my strengths. I try to make a nuisance of myself."

Carew could be partnered up front by one of Dickov's Ewood Park colleagues, Morten Gamst Pedersen. The 23-year-old has found life in the Premiership tough, however, following a summer move from Tromso and so far a goal against Bournemouth in the Carling Cup is the only one he has scored for his new employers. "He is taking a little time to adjust at the minute because it is hard for him being young and moving from a different country to a new club," Dickov said. "It has not quite happened for him in games yet but you can see in training that he is a real talent so we will have to be careful of him."

The Scotland coach, Berti Vogts, played Dickov as a lone striker in the 0-0 draw at home to Slovenia that kicked off the qualification campaign last month. James McFadden and Darren Fletcher had been given license to support him and Dickov said it is a system that could be successful again.

"This season I have played up front in a three, up front in a two and up front on my own both at club level and in internationals," he said. "Everybody says it is a negative system but if you do it right and are positive about it then it is more of a 4-3-3 than a 4-5-1."

Vogts, already waiting to see whether Hearts' Steven Pressley can recover from a virus, has drafted Steven Caldwell and Graeme Murty into his squad as defensive cover. If Pressley does not recover it would leave Vogts with only four defenders - Russell Anderson, Gary Caldwell, Gary Naysmith and Andy Webster.

The Portsmouth midfielder Nigel Quashie has pulled out with a calf injury.