Scottish national team coach, George Burley is deeply worried about the Czech referee for the Macedonia game, while the Macedonian coach Srečko Katanec doesn't realy care about the ref. Apart from that, Macedonian players are conviced in a win against Scotland. Here are some quotes from both sides:
In an interview for the Scottish Sun, George Burley, national team coach of Scotland said: “We have a young, inexperienced referee. It’s a big test for him and he will be under pressure. It’s up to FIFA to decide who the referee is. We must accept the appointment and we must be aware. We will have to control our tackling around the box.”
He is speaking about Pavel Královec, who was once banned for six games for blunders in the Czech League and has handled just two qualifiers at this level. He was forced to publicly apologise for his awful display filled with harsh red cards and strange penalty decisions in the match between SK Slavia Praha and FK Mladá Boleslav in the Czech League last season. In his international career he has been in only two qualification matches Moldova – Hungary (3:0) and Kazakhstan – Armenia (1:2). Maybe Burley is only trying to put some presure on the ref because yesterday he was deeply worried about the 33+ degrees in Skopje, a weather too hot for the Scots and the day before yesterday he was crying over the injuries of some of his players. Or maybe he wants to have an alibi in case of a defeat.
Scottish goalkeeper, Craig Gordon, who plays for Sunderland AFC in England,is more worried about Goran Pandev, than the Czech referee: “It is going to be difficult because they are a good side and we know that. But we’ve got to have confidence in our own ability and we are going out there to win the game. We did well in the last campaign and that is a confidence booster. We’ve been watching videos and getting pep talks about the game but the main thing is that we need to concentrate on is going out there and getting the right result. Pandev is a good player but I wouldn’t say he is better or worse than I’ve played against before. Italian football is still a very good. The top clubs get to the latter stages of the Champions League every season. We watched him on video in the last couple of games and he looks very strong and is probably their main threat. A lot of their play seems to go through him but it’s up to us to counter that and make sure that it doesn’t happen. They are a very capable side and we can’t focus solely on him. They have plenty of good players.”
Appart from the Scots, Macedonian players seem to be quite conviced in their win. For daily paper Makedonski Sport, midfielder Vlatko Grozdanoski said: "If we don't believe that we can win on our first game aganst Scotland, than we shouldn't play at all. It is clear that it wont be easy, but many times before we have confirmed that we play great against the favorites. This team have quality which filled with the support which we are expecting from the stands, I believe that we will bring a good result who will mark our start in the qualications."
Igor Mitreski, the full back from FC Energie Cottbus: "Every beginning is important. The following two games are the most important in this qualifications from which many thing will depend for us. Our thoughts at this moment are focused only on Scotland. Ofcaurse that we are able to win. That is our goal which we will reach if we all give our maximum on the field. And we are ready for that because Macedonia finaly deserves a true football joy."
Goran Pandev, speaks for his small injury andthe confrontation with the Scots: "It is nothing serious. I can feel a bit pain in my knee from the kick that I got in the Lazio – Cagliari game. Ofcaurse, for Scotland I will be ready. The start of the new qualifications is a big motive for all of us, it is time to start with the real results of this generation."
Nikolce Noveski is heading to a win too: "Ofcaurse that Scotland has a great quality for which speaks their raiting, but we believe only in our quality. That's the only way to reach the so desired positive start. The squad is playing together for a long time. We are ready to give the maximum from us and with a support from our fans to get a win that will give us a bigger motive in the rest of the qualifications."
Velice Sumulikoski: "It will be hard because Scotland are a strong team that always plays aggressive football with long balls. To their aggression we must response with our complete commitment on the field. Without any doubts, on this mini-prepairings we will need support from the whole Macedonian public as well as on the stadium on Saturday."
Finaly, the Macedonian coach Srečko Katanec: "My wish is to win at least one of these two games what will keep our chances for qualification at the World Cup. I hope that on these first matches against Scotland and Nederland we will play like they are our last and decisive matches. If we look at the raitings, it is clear that we are no favorites, but we are playing at home in front of our fans. My mentality is always the same, always to be streaming for victory, which ofcaurse means that we belive in ourselfs too. There is no doubt that we have better chances on the first game against the Scots. It is clear, although there are no underratings, that the Scots aren't on the same level us the Dutchs. There is apsolutely no comparings between those two teams and that's why we will concentrate on what we will be doing on Saturday. We have to play our stile no matter of the opponent. We can't claim which stile we would preffer. These are first matches in the qualifications, so I don't believe that the Scots will attack us on the very beggining. We have to be patient, with continuous attacks to reach our winning wish. In the last qualifications we have proved that we can play good against the favorites. If we lose twice, I believe that the qualification for us will be finished. Than it would be unreal to think that we could win on the aways in Eindhoven and Glasgow. That is why now our thoughts are pointed ditrectly on Scotland and I believe that we are capable of winning. I am not interested in any other calculations. It is the start of the qualifications and at this moment our ambitions are at the highest level and I want to believe that we will do great in this qualifications."