Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Scotland 2 Macedonia 0

Kenny Miller insists Scotland have already shown they can triumph against all the odds and sees no reason why they cannot do so again as they prepare to face Holland in a vital World Cup qualifier.

The Rangers striker was part of the squad who defeated the Dutch at Hampden back in 2003 and looked on as the Scots claimed two dramatic victories over France as they narrowly failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

He knows George Burley's men will be written off by many before a ball is even kicked on Wednesday but warned against dismissing a Scotland team who seem to flourish when the odds are stacked against them.

“We've done it before,” he said.

“We've beaten France at home, we've gone close against Italy a couple of times and we beat Holland before.

“So there is no reason why we can't do it again. You have to ride your luck in these games.

“Craig Gordon made a couple of good saves against Macedonia and it will probably be the same again on Wednesday night.

“But if you can stay in the game as long as possible, you can always nick a goal and steal the win.”

Miller admits Saturday's 2-0 win over Macedonia, which kept hopes of a play-off spot alive for now, eased the pressure on the whole squad and not just beleaguered boss Burley.

“It's a big lift for us,” he said.

“We put ourselves under pressure because we haven't performed as well as we should have done in this campaign.

“We were in a position where we had to beat Macedonia at home and we probably have to beat Holland as well.

“We've put ourselves in that position and we knew we had to come out and get a result and, in the second half in particular, we did that.”

Unfortunately for the Scots, James McFadden — who netted the winner against Holland six years ago and scored an unforgettable goal against France — looks set to miss the visit of Bert van Marwijk's men.

A wonderful solo goal from the Birmingham forward helped seal the win against Macedonia — after Scott Brown had opened the scoring on 56 minutes — but a yellow card picked up earlier in the game sent him through the disciplinary threshold and rules him out of the clash with the Group Nine winners.

“He is a big player for us and will be a big loss,” admitted Miller.

“We have seen again what he can do for us with his goal and he had a couple of other chances.

“The lads didn't even know what he was booked for to be honest, he didn't seem to be involved in the incident at all. There is nothing we can do about it now, he is going to miss the game and will be a big loss for us.”

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