The Chances Are Slim But Levein Is Still A Believer
06 September 2011 06:36
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Craig (Optimist Supreme) Levein still thinks Scotland have a realistic chance of making the EURO2012 play-offs. Can I have a pint of what ever he is drinking these days please. Ahead of tonight's game with Lithuania, Craig Levein is content that Scotland face the prospect of taking something from the game with Spain on 8 October in their last EURO2012 qualifier if they are to reach the finals. Scotland remain five points behind the second-placed Czechs, with a game in hand on the team they drew 2-2 with on Saturday, and after facing Lithuania, the final two games are a double-header in October away to Liechtenstein and runaway Group I leaders, current world and European champions, Spain. Levein is aware that he may have to take at least a point against Spain. He said: "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. It is more difficult than before the game on Saturday, of course it is. But we won't give up. Absolutely not. Tuesday night's game is vital for us. 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." The prospect of getting the points required to make the play-offs appears remote when you look at the points gathered from the games played so far. Levein 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."