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Levein accepts Spanish task
Published : 06 Sep 2011 09:30:13
Craig Levein is comfortable with the realisation that Scotland will probably have to take something from all-conquering Spain in their last Euro 2012 qualifier if they are to have a chance of making the finals in Poland and Ukraine.
Lithuania are the visitors to Hampden on Tuesday night where the Scots are still smarting over their 2-2 draw with Czech Republic. Scotland remain five points behind the second-placed Czechs with a game in hand and after facing Lithuania, Levein's men have a double-header in October away to Liechtenstein and runaway Group I leaders Spain.
Maximum points may be needed, and Levein agreed: "It looks that way now, yes. The next two games obviously will take care of themselves first and foremost, before we worry about Spain, but I am confident in the group of players that we have got."
He added: "It is more difficult than before the game on Saturday, of course it is. But we won't give up. Absolutely not.
"The Czech Republic have Spain at home which is extremely difficult for them and they have to travel to Lithuania who beat them in the Czech Republic.
"So the situation has been made more difficult with what happened on Saturday but we are a determined group and we will be giving it a right go for the next three games."
Only the most optimistic Scot, though, would bet on Levein's men getting second spot and a play-off place. The former Dundee United and Hearts boss acknowledged that he has recorded only one win in five qualifiers but insists all is not lost.
He said: "Prior to Saturday, drawing in Lithuania was a decent result in the context of it being the first game in the group.
"We beat Liechtenstein and we lost in the Czech Republic to a set-piece and we lost 3-2 to Spain after a magnificent performance. I know, and the players know, what is happening within this group, that is the most important thing.
"We are improving and I have total confidence in the players. We trust each other and we believe in what we are doing."