Scotland wary of Ukraine
Scotland boss Alex McLeish is wary of the threat Ukraine will pose when they meet in their Euro 2008 qualifier at Hampden Park.
By Robin Hackett
Last Updated: 10/10/07 12:22pm
Scotland boss Alex McLeish is wary of the threat Ukraine will pose when they meet in their Euro 2008 qualifier at Hampden Park on Saturday.
Scotland currently top Group B after beating France for the second time in this campaign, while Ukraine are currently fourth, eight points behind with a game in hand.
But McLeish believes that, with the likes of Andriy Shevchenko in their ranks, Ukraine still have an 'outside chance' of qualifying and will be coming to Scotland without any fear.
Dangerous"Ukraine have been seeded above us and they have been for the last couple of years, and that is the measure of the task we have ahead of us," he told talkSPORT. "We only look at one game at a time.
"They are full of household names. I know Shevchenko has maybe not been playing as well as he could in the Premier League, but he is still a free spirit when he plays for Ukraine, I can tell you that.
"I believe they will think they have an outside chance (of qualifying) if they win all their games, which would mean them beating France in their last game.
"They have nothing to lose coming to Hampden and that can make them more dangerous.
"We have to look at the challenge with great confidence without being conceited. We have a good chance.
"We have beaten France twice, so there is no reason that we can't beat Ukraine."
Caldwell concernHowever, Scotland look likely to face their opponents without Celtic defender Gary Caldwell.
Although the Scottish FA announced on Tuesday that the defender had withdrawn from the squad, McLeish says he is still with the side, but 'remains doubtful' for the game.
It is an added blow for Scotland, who are already without his Celtic team-mate Paul Hartley.
"(We) definitely don't have Hartley and Caldwell is undergoing a scan this morning and he remains doubtful," said McLeish.
"(We have) no plans to call anyone in. That's why we named a 24-man squad, because we feel that we have to give the guys that are already in the squad a chance."