Scotland v Faroe Islands: Smith looks to Boyd and Miller to sharpen the cutting edge

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The Independent Football

The Faroe Islands. Three little words, 15 letters. All of them pronounced silently - very silently - if you are Scottish. The team of fishermen who humbled Scotland four years ago are back on the horizon on Saturday.

Yet, for Walter Smith, the opening match of the Euro 2008 campaign is no occasion for fear. The Scotland manager has no intention of revisiting the igno-miny of his predecessor, Berti Vogts, and would prefer that his team thought of themselves as one of the big fish who populate Group B, rather than worrying about the minnows.

The 61,000 seats of Celtic Park will be a stark contrast to the rocky outcrop of Toftir where Scotland had to come back from an embarrassing two-goal deficit to scramble a 2-2 draw on the first match of the 2004 European Championship trail. Smith simply wants the job done efficiently on the men from the North Atlantic.

Given that the world champions Italy, beaten finalists France and Ukraine are all in the group, Scotland could be seen as somewhere in the middle of the food chain after failing to reach a major finals since 1998. Smith, however, would prefer to talk up his side rather than harking back to that dreadful day in 2002 under Vogts.

It says everything about the German's judgement that the two men he entrusted with the task of scoring in Toftir were equally out of their depth. Scott Dobie and Kevin Kyle now ply their trade for Nottingham Forest and Coventry City. Smith is going directly to the Old Firm for goals.

Celtic's Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd of Rangers will form what Smith hopes is a potent partnership. Miller's six goals last season for Scotland earned him a summer move to Parkhead from Wolves, while Boyd's club haul of 37 (for Kilmarnock and Rangers) led to a remarkable international debut as he scored twice in the 5-1 rout of Bulgaria to help Smith's team win the Kirin Cup in Japan.

They have never played as a partnership before but Smith is keen to dispel any worries about Miller, who has yet to score for Celtic. "Kenny has been excellent for the national team, and that's what we go by," he said. "Of course it would be nice [for him] to have good club form, but sometimes people find the adjustment to a new club a wee bit harder than normal.

"A change of environment could maybe help him. But I don't think he needs a lift in confidence with Scotland. He has played exceptionally well for us since I have been manager, especially his all-round play. Boyd is a goalscorer. He just wants to be in the penalty box all the time, and that is something we have not had for a while. The Faroes will set out their stall to defend. We will have to take the game to them.

"We still have a lot of adjustments to make, in terms of creating opportunities. Every striker needs opportunities created for him, so there is a responsibility on everybody in the team to create them." The necessity to begin the fiercely contested group - Georgia thrashed the Faroes 6-0 last week - with a win is underlined by the fact that Scotland, principally because of Vogts, dropped 10 points from their home games to miss out on the 2006 World Cup finals.

Yet, despite not having a Thierry Henry or an Andriy Shevchenko, Smith insists qualification is not beyond his team. "I don't think we can go in to this thinking third would be a great success," he said. "When we are starting out we want to think we can do as well as possible.

"I look at the draw against Italy at Hampden in the World Cup campaign and we played extremely well. We've shown we can play well but we have to turn it into more positive results. It's a huge task, but we have to be as positive as we can."

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