Scotland manager Craig Levein has backed his players to pull off the performance of their World Cup qualifying campaign so far when they face Belgium tonight.
Hopes of reaching Brazil in 2014 are already hanging by a thread after Friday’s 2-1 defeat in Wales – combined with home draws against Serbia and Macedonia – left the Scots second bottom of Group A.
With just two points from their opening three games, Levein knows victory is a must against the section favourites in Brussels.
And he says he has every faith in his side to deliver the win that could steer their ailing campaign back on track.
Levein, pictured left, said: “There is absolutely no doubt we have a big performance in us. That has been evident in a number of games we have played and we need that tonight. We are capable of it.
“This is a tough place for anybody to come and take points, we accept that, but we are capable of it. They are a very good team and they have a good group of individual players. To go to Serbia and win 3-0 is a very good job indeed.
“We are aware of the strengths of Belgium but we are capable of a big performance and that’s what we are looking for. We have to show respect to the opposition, of course we do. We have a plan we have been working on for a few days.”
Skipper Darren Fletcher is adamant the players also have belief in their own ability to rise to the challenge.
He said: “The lads are desperate to get out there. There is a belief in the team.
“There is belief through from the team to the management to everyone involved that we just haven’t got the results we deserve.”
As well as boosting their World Cup hopes, Fletcher admits all the players are desperate to deliver victory over Belgium for Levein, who has found himself under pressure as a result of the disappointing start to the qualifiers.
He said: “We are desperate for the performance and the win for the manager because we believe in him as a team, as a group.
“We’ve seen the work he puts in, the way he treats the players, the attention to detail that goes into every game.
“It’s a really good set-up to be involved in and all the players genuinely enjoy being here. He treats us like adults, with respect.
“We are allowed to voice our opinions but he has the final decision and everyone respects him for that.
“Hopefully we can get a much-needed victory.
“The players are fully behind the manager. I don’t think we could be better prepared for matches than we are. I honestly believe that.
“The manager has come in and had a really positive impact on the whole structure at the SFA.
“He has definitely had a positive impact on the squad.
“We’ve had some good performances and we just need
the results and hopefully
they come sooner rather than later.”