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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 13, 2007

McLeish wants Scotland to 'rattle' Italy

Scotland manager Alex McLeish wants his side to 'rattle' Italy at Hampden when they go in search of the win which will secure Euro 2008 qualification.

McLeish admits Italy should be able to handle the pressure of Saturday's occasion, having coped with the demands of a World Cup final less than 18 months ago.

But he is hoping that Scotland's players will unnerve the Azzurri, who can ill-afford to lose in Glasgow.

'We know we face the world champions, they've been in these situations many times before - and they should be able to handle it with their mentality,' said McLeish.

'But it's a football match, 11 against 11, and I'm sure the Italian guys are as human as anybody else.

'If we can rattle them then it should be very interesting.'

McLeish spoke exclusively to Tennents.com and hailed the achievement which has put Scotland one win away from next summer's finals in Austria and Switzerland.

'I don't think anybody would have believed it at the start of the campaign,' said McLeish, who took over when Walter Smith resigned in January.

'I'm sure that everybody would have hoped for something like this, but I don't think anybody in their wildest dreams would have believed we'd be contesting Italy in the very last game for qualification.

'And I think it's been a tremendous campaign whatever happens - I don't think we should even be using the term 'so far'. It's been a tremendous campaign, win, lose or draw against Italy.'

McLeish acknowledges Italy will be aware of how Scotland's system works, and the personnel involved on Saturday will be the players who have been mainstays of the side since the start of the year.

'I think they know what we're all about,' said McLeish. 'They've already beaten us in the campaign, but we've had a tremendous run at Hampden and we'd like to finish with another victory at Hampden which has been a fortress for us.'

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