Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Scots Aim to Make a Noise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Scots Aim to Make a Noise

Article excerpt

SCOTLAND manager Alex McLeish expects the decibel level to tell him his players are ready for battle in the biggest game of their lives on Saturday.

While expectations around the country reach fever pitch in the moments leading up to kick-off against Italy, the home dressing room at Hampden will be transformed by a cacophony of noise.

The Faroe Islands, France, Georgia, Lithuania and Ukraine have all been sent home empty-handed throughout this extraordinary Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and McLeish has promised the Italians a game they will never forget.

The country will come to a standstill come 5pm on Saturday, and McLeish said: "It's a big responsibility, but it's a game of football and in a game of football you may not get the result you want.

"Everybody has to be appreciative of that, not least the players because it means that they can go into the game in a relaxed manner - ready for the game, ready for the action, ready for the battle, but at the same time on the understanding that it may not go their way.

"And that can make them play their best football.

They've done that in the past with that kind of attitude.

"We'll have a team talk before we leave Cameron House (Scotland's training base). I'll then have a couple of minutes with the players before they go out for the referee's whistle and that's when they all psyche themselves up and get a little bit loud in the dressing room about being together and trusting each other.

"I know that we can do this. It's not a question of me saying, 'We will do it' - I know we can and that has stood us in good stead having that attitude over the course of the competition.

The Italians will know for sure that they've been in a game."

Italy's World Cup-winning skipper Fabio Cannavaro is glad to be at the Azzur ri's training base and away from the violent scenes which have left him "angry and upset" with the state of the national game following the accidental shooting of a Lazio fan by a policeman on Sunday.

Cannavaro, who plays in Spain for Real Madrid, said: "We have faced hard situations before and have been able to overcome them.

"We know the importance of Saturday's game. …

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