Salisbury JournalLevein dismisses qualification talk (From Salisbury Journal)

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Levein dismisses qualification talk

Salisbury Journal: Scotland manager Craig Levein is refusing to talk about World Cup qualification yet Scotland manager Craig Levein is refusing to talk about World Cup qualification yet

Craig Levein has described as "nonsense" the notion that Scotland's 2014 World Cup qualification hopes are up for debate after one Group A game.

The consensus following Saturday's goalless draw against Serbia at Hampden was that while the result was not fatal, a hefty blow had been dealt to the Scots' hopes of reaching Brazil. Consequently, the Scotland boss is under increased pressure ahead of Tuesday night's visit of Macedonia.

However, Levein, who has called Craig Samson into his squad following concerns over number one keeper Allan McGregor and back-up Matt Gilks, moved to quash any suggestions that it is already win-or-bust for his side. He said: "It is nonsense to be talking about qualification or non-qualification just now."

He continued: "We still have 27 points to play for. We are very positive about what we are doing just now.

"It is interesting, if we win and other results go our way we could be top of the group and all of a sudden the point becomes important and who knows, come the end of the tournament it might be the one that makes all the difference.

"Maybe some people don't understand the quality of teams we are playing against.

"We did a lot of work on Serbia, we looked at their strengths and weaknesses and we knew we were in for a tough game on Saturday. Tonight, we will look at Macedonia and analyse how they play.

"We have to give them respect, if you look at their recent results they have performed exceptionally well and should have got a point against Croatia the other night.

"We have had our own troubles with Macedonia in the past so this will be a tough match for us, a different type of game but I am looking forward to it.

"We have players who didn't hit peak form at the weekend and they are determined to put that right on Tuesday night."

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