Fletcher upbeat for Scots
Darren Fletcher is confident Scotland will be able to start their Euro 2012 qualifiers on a positive note.
Last Updated: 11/08/10 9:41am
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher is confident the team will be in a position to start their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign on a positive note.
The friendly against Sweden on Wednesday night is only coach Craig Levein's second match in charge and Scotland have not played since beating Czech Republic in March.
A qualifying double-header against Lithuania and Liechtenstein is on the horizon next month and Fletcher believes the national team are heading towards those dates in good shape.
"I'm sure he (Levein) would want more time, but I think it was maybe sensible not to take a friendly at the end of last season because a lot of players play with injuries during the season and you get many injury call-offs and it's not the players he would want who would probably be here for the qualifying games," said the midfielder.
"Barring a couple of injuries, most of the players are here and excited and he's getting his ideas across on the training pitch and what he expects of us.
"Yes, it's a short space of time, but we will do the best we can in that time and we will be ready come the qualifiers."
Competition for places
Levein has suffered six call-offs for this match, having already lost No.1 goalkeeper Craig Gordon and defender Gary Caldwell through injury.
But Fletcher insisted: "Players pick up injuries and that's part of football. It's something you experience at club level as well and that's why a lot of the clubs have big squads.
"At international level, you do expect the injuries and that's why it's important to have a good squad. We are getting that nowadays, we are getting a lot of competition for places, especially in midfield.
"We are getting extra striking options, although maybe not so much in defensive areas. With a little bit of luck we will hopefully have a similar squad all through the campaign which will definitely help."