Houston salutes captain Fletcher

06 September 2010 06:48
Scotland assistant Peter Houston has hailed skipper Darren Fletcher who will win his 50th cap against Liechtenstein at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

The Manchester United midfielder will enter the SFA's Hall of Fame on making a half-century of international appearances in the crucial 2012 Euro qualifying Group I match against the group minnows.

Fletcher, 26, has often been accused of leaving his best form at Old Trafford but Houston insists the Dalkeith-born player is deserving of his accolade.

"For such a young guy it's a huge achievement," the Dundee United boss said.

"It's a huge honour for him to be captain of his country and at this early age getting his 50th cap.

"So great credit to him and we are delighted for him.

"We still feel that he does a smashing job for his country.

"He plays consistently well for the side.

"The other night against Lithuania his energy levels were fantastic, he was pressing people and working hard.

"One thing Darren has shown for Scotland is that he always here and fully committed.

"We can't expect Darren to play well in every game but certainly, if he gives us the performance he gave us on Friday, we will be more than pleased."

After drawing 0-0 against Lithuania, Craig Levein's side are expected to easily pick up three points against Liechtenstein, who lost 4-0 at home to Spain in their first match.

But Houston insists the first three points of the qualifying campaign is the priority.

"You never get an easy game at international level but this game at Hampden gives us an opportunity to win," he said.

"What we will come up against is a team who will be as well organised as they possibly can be.

"It would be nice to go out and score a lot of goals and if it is comfortable then great.

"However, I don't think you can be disrespectful of any country.

"If you put 11 players behind the ball, sitting on their 18-yard line, you still have to create and score goals.

"On some occasions it will be difficult.

"You see it with big clubs against little clubs - teams can make it difficult for you.

"The best that can happen is maybe that we score an early goal.

"But we can't put too much pressure on trying to score early goals, we just have to make sure we win the match and whether the goals come in the first half or the second half, it doesn't really matter."

Source: Team_Talk