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Show No Fear
Published : 05 Sep 2011 11:12:41
Scotland's under 21s have to get a good start to their UEFA European Under-21 Championship tonight Billy Stark will take his Under 21 squad back to Paisley to face a tough challenge in their opening UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying game. However, Stark believes his young players are more than capable of matching a nation with a good footballing pedigree. He said: "Bulgaria are a country that has a good football tradition. Certainly, people my age will remember them in World Cups. We are going to find ourselves up against a really tough outfit. They have good size and athleticism, they are resolute and tough, with some pretty gifted players and that's a good mix to have. But we can't be frightened of the challenge. You can sit there and hope things go well and try to sneak through and get a result. But I think you have to stand up and say 'They are good opposition but let's show them how we can play.' We have to show that confidence on the pitch." Scotland will want to avoid the agony suffered last time when they missed out at the play-off stages last time around, losing 4-2 over two legs to Iceland. Stark stressed the importance of a positive start to this new campaign. He said: "If you look at league campaigns, you always think that a good start is important but you know there is plenty of time to recover. Unfortunately at under-21 level in these championships, there is not the same margin for error. We need a good start, a good middle and a good end. It's not something we are frightened off. We know it's a difficult competition to qualify for and the last group did us proud. We just hope this one can emulate them and maybe go a step further." Last time out, the Under 21s enjoyed a 3-0 friendly win over Norway at the same venue last month. Stark added: "You use that game for a number of things and the result is not the first thing. If we had lost the game and performed well in a number of areas we would still have had a degree of optimism coming out of it. When you get a result as well, and I think it was deserved, then we can only take positives from that and hopefully build on it."