Serbia coach recruits for Tartan Army


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The Independent Football

The Serbia coach, Sinisa Mihajlovic, looks forward to a full house at Hampden today for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Scotland – and urges the Tartan Army to back their team.

The road to Brazil starts for both teams in Glasgow where they will be looking for the early edge in Group A, which also contains Belgium, Croatia, Macedonia and Wales.

Mihajlovic, a former Red Star Belgrade, Lazio and Internazionale player was asked about a passionate home support. "We play football for supporters. I love to see a full crowd. It is important that supporters come to this match and that will be a great thing for us," he said.

"I would kindly request of Scottish fans; please continue to support your team even if you concede a goal. Scotland has a good team at the moment. Our group is very equal, anybody can win each game and that means Scotland can qualify.

"We have studied the Scotland team and we know the players and tactics very well but maybe they will surprise us tomorrow as we prepare a surprise for them. We know from which part of the team and which player can be the most dangerous but we also saw some weaknesses and we will try to exploit that. It is important to win the game for the psychological side but we have 10 matches in the group."

The Chelsea defender and Serbia captain, Branislav Ivanovic claimed his criticism of Scotland in some media quarters yesterday was due to him being misquoted. He was reported as saying of the Scots: "They become very disoriented when the ball is consistently played on the ground."

"I think this is the media war started," he said. "What you have seen in your media, I think it was mistakes in the translation. We are full of respect for your national team.

"We know how you play and we expect the atmosphere will make it very tough for us. I think this is one of the hardest away games for us so we will be fully concentrated and we will have to give our maximum to get a positive result. We have a new faith and a new team, it is a new road for us and we want to start in the best possible way."

Asked about the absence of striker Steven Fletcher, who recently earned a £12m move from Wolves to Sunderland, Ivanovic said: "It is good for us that he is not playing but he has not played for a long time.

"We know how tough it will be so maybe it is a good thing but we are looking out for ourselves. It will be a difficult game because Scotland have enough quality."