Levein finally decides to attack – against world champions Spain
Tuesday 12 October 2010
Scotland manager Craig Levein defended his widely criticised defensive approach yesterday, but said he would "have a go" at the world champions Spain in tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier.
Levein played without any recognised forwards in a formation described as "4-6-0" in the Czech Republic on Friday and lost a tight game 1-0. He was asked if he had been stung by criticism of the tactic. "You're assuming I have read any papers, which I haven't," he said. "I am very positive about this match. In fact, I'm excited and looking forward to it, and the players are too."
"Here's how it works: I got the job and the job is to try and qualify for the Euros. I'll do that the way I think is right. If it causes a little bit of a stooshie [fight] and some of you press guys get upset, then so what?"
Alan Hutton, Gary Caldwell, Steven Whittaker and Graham Dorrans sustained minor injuries in Prague but Scotland fans will be more interested to see whether a striker makes the team.
The Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque, is long used to facing sides intent on defending but said he expected the Scots to show a bit more ambition in front of their own fans. "I don't think [they will play defensively] because they played with two central midfielders as forwards and they only pushed forward when they fell a goal behind," he said of Scotland's game in the Czech Republic. "As the home team backed by their fans, they will try to attack our goal more than the other day."
Spain have Xavi, Fernando Torres and Pedro missing through injury. Xabi Alonso should return after a bout of flu, while Sergio Ramos is expected to shake off a minor leg injury.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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