Levein expects players to cope

11 October 2012 08:18

Scotland manager Craig Levein has backed his players to handle the pressure as they bid to deliver their first win of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Scots head into Friday night's qualifier against Wales well aware of the expectations to produce the goods following a difficult start to Group A. Levein's men were forced to settle for just two points from the double-header last month against Serbia and Macedonia at Hampden.

The Tartan Army now hope the clash in Cardiff will kick-start the campaign and the manager said: "These guys we have play in the biggest leagues in the world every week in front of TV audiences of millions and they cope with it. I don't think there is going to be any worry at all in our team about being able to handle the pressure."

Wales are also under pressure to bolster their own hopes after suffering defeat in their opening two matches - including a 6-1 thrashing to Serbia.

Levein stressed the difficulties faced by himself and opposite number Chris Coleman as international bosses but says he is still relishing being at the Scotland helm.

He added: "I had a brief chat with Chris down in London a couple of months ago about the differences between club management and international management. There are a lot of differences - it's a tougher job I believe.

"We've both got tough jobs but you don't take the job that I'm in or Chris is in and think that everything is going to be easy because that's just impossible.

"Yes, it's tough but I'm the proudest man in Scotland to be the Scotland manager. Anything that comes with it, I'll take it just so that I can do this job."

When put to Levein that both sides need the three points from this match, he said: "Agreed. And that makes it even more exciting, doesn't it?"

Source: PA