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Stark ready for Austria showdown
Published : 06 Sep 2010 19:01:13
Billy Stark has rated Scotland Under-21s' chances of qualifying for the play-offs for the European Championship finals as 50-50 as they prepare to play host to Austria in a win-or-bust match.
With Scotland, Belarus and Austria all locked on 14 points, the young Scots must win at Pittodrie on Tuesday night to ensure they top Group 10. The Austrians are top seeds in the group but, following Friday's 1-1 draw in Belarus, Stark insists there is also plenty of confidence within his own ranks.
He said: "It's a big, big game. We feel a sense of satisfaction that we've negotiated ourselves into a position where we can qualify."
He added: "The group of players have done particularly well so far to negotiate the seven games and give ourselves a good chance of qualifying.
"I would say, the way the game is set up, it's 50-50.
"Austria are a good side and they've strengthened by bringing in a few players who have played full internationals so they will be a formidable opponent.
"But we can take confidence from the performances we have had until now and hopefully we can produce another one tomorrow."
With both teams knowing victory is essential, Stark is anticipating a tense night.
He said: "It's a wee bit unusual in that both teams need to win and we can't take comfort and say 'well, we feel we need the win but if we draw the game then maybe we can do this or do that' - a draw is not going to be enough for either of us in my view.
"Austria are away from home and it'll be interesting to see how they tackle the game."