Berra ready for Dutch test
Christophe Berra insists he is ready for the challenge of Scotland's World Cup qualifier in Holland.
Last Updated: 27/03/09 9:43am
Christophe Berra insists he is ready for the challenge of Scotland's World Cup qualifier in Holland on Saturday, despite the game representing his first full international start for his country.
The 24-year-old Wolves defender has been fast-tracked into Scotland boss George Burley's starting XI due to injuries to key duo Stephen McManus and David Weir.
Berra, 23, has adapted quickly to life south of the border following his move from Hearts to Wolves in January but his promotion to full honours represents something of a gamble - albeit one that cannot be avoided - on Burley's part.
With just three caps to his name the player admits to being nervous but insists he is looking forward to pitting his wits against one of the continent's finest sides.
"Yes, there will be nerves, but nerves are a good thing for a footballer - if you didn't suffer some nerves before a game like this then you wouldn't be human," said Berra.
"It will be a big experience for me playing against some world-class players, but challenges like these can only improve you as a player.
"This is my chance so it will be up to me to take it. I'm really looking forward to it."
Asked about the prospect of facing Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt, he added: "I'll just play the game as I see it. Holland have terrific talent and no doubt will have some tricks up their sleeves, but I'll just have to deal with that as it happens.
"It won't just be down to me to keep them quiet - there will be another 10 Scotland players out there with jobs to do.
"If we work together as a team, and stay compact and solid, then I believe we have a right good chance. But it's fair to say this will be the biggest game of my life."
Former Hearts boss Burley has every confidence in the defender, saying: "Berra has the attributes to be a top-class centre-half.
"I always knew Christophe was capable of taking the step from club football to the international game. I had him as a young boy at Hearts and he was always a defender with great potential.
"He has developed a lot in the last year, and going to Wolves has pushed him on even further.
"It's up to him to show us what he's got. He is still young, but he has got pace and a good spring and he has developed a lot recently. This is a great opportunity for him and I'm sure he won't let us down.
"He keeps improving and this is a big test for him. Hopefully, he'll show he can cope with international football.
"He deserves this chance as he's worked hard for it."