Football: Be Careful, or We Could Get Shot to Pieces

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Byline: Interview: John Docherty

WHO WOULD have believed it - after four games, Scotland are sitting top of Group B in the qualification battle for Euro 2008 - and incredibly, in front of Italy and France.

It's an amazing scenario in anyone's book because when the draw was made no-one gave Scotland a snowball's chance in hell.

After all, we are talking about being pitted up against two of the greatest football nations on the planet who contested last year's World Cup final.

But in the face of adversity, Scotland are invariably up for the challenge and that very point was underlined when we took on World Cup runners-up France at Hampden in October and beat them 1-0.

This afternoon, we will witness the dawn of a new era under Alex McLeish, who inherited the team left by Walter Smith.

There's a lot of pressure on Big Eck to carry on the sterling work done by Walter whose guidance has seen Scotland move to an all-time high of 16 in the world rankings.

But anyone who knows Alex will appreciate he will relish the challenge.

This is undoubtedly a huge weekend for Scottish football. The national team has got itself into a strong situation and the last thing we want to do is blow it by not beating Georgia, albeit they have some quality players in the shape of former Rangers ace Shota Arveladze and Zurab Khizanishvili. The opportunity is there for Alex and his players to achieve something special.

We have got off to a dream start, we are in a fantastic position although there is obviously a lot of hard work to be done.

I see the bookies make Scotland red hot favourites to keep the bandwagon rolling by taking all three points from Georgia. I believe we will do that as well but it's going to be extremely tough. …