Levein urges concentration

Craig LeveinScotland manager Craig Levein has urged his side to concentrate in their crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Spain on Tuesday night, or risk missing out on the playoffs.

Going into the final game of the qualification process, the Scots are second in Group I, one point ahead of Czech Republic, who travel to take on Lithuania.

With the celtic nation needing to match Czech Republic’s result to ensure second spot, Levein knows his team must focus on the task at hand against the current world champions.

“Concentration will be important. I am not worrying about their application because I know we will get that,” he stated in a press conference prior to the game.

“But concentration is a huge part. We will have to concentrate for 90 minutes and however more than 90 minutes we have to play.

“That means players not switching off for a second and allowing the ability of the Spanish to hurt us. As you can imagine, constantly trying to take in information with your eyes and react to where the ball is on the pitch is mentally tiring.

“The ball changes position so often and so quickly, all it needs is one lapse in concentration to result in a chance for Spain. But we understand that, we understand what we are facing,” he stated.

Despite the apparent quality of the home side, Levein feels Scotland will not wilt under Spanish pressure.

“We won’t be overawed by the occasion. We have players who play week-in, week-out in the (English) Premier League and we have players with self-belief and those two things help.

“It is not just that, it is the belief in each other and the team which is important. Also, our players see Spanish players every weekend on television and play against them so there are no hidden secrets.

“We know what to expect and we are determined to do our best to win the match,” he concluded.

In reality Scotland will most likely need Lithuania to do them a favour and beat Czech Republic, as qualification goes down to the wire.

By Gareth McKnight