Scotland boss Craig Levein expects tough Wales test
Scotland manager Craig Levein expects Wales to provide stern opposition in Wednesday’s Carling Nations Cup match on Wendesday night in Dublin.
Scotland’s last meeting with Wales in November 2009 ended in a 3-0 defeat and cost then-boss George Burley his job, paving the way for Levein to take over.
“Every game of international football is very tough,” said Levein.
“Wales have had some call-offs, but we will have to be at our best to get what we want, which is to win this match.”
Levein also believes Charlie Adam will still to be plying his trade in the Premier League next season, dsespite suffering relegration to the Championship with Blackpool on Sunday.
I would love all of our players to be playing in the Premier League, at the top level
Adam has been named along with Seasider team-mate Stephen Crainey in the side to face Wales and has been a hit south of the border following his high profile move from Rangers.
Liverpool and Tottenham expressed interest in signing him January and Levein has predicted further interest in the highly-rated midfielder in the coming weeks.
And, if he does remain in the English top flight, that is good news as far as the Scotland manager is concerned.
“I would love all of our players to be playing in the Premier League, at the top level,” said Levein.
“Charlie attracted a lot of interest in January and I would expect that just to be resurrected in the summer. My view is that he will be playing in the Premier League next season.”
But Levein admits the national team does owe a debt of gratitude to Blackpool for their part in the development of some of his international players.
He added: “Blackpool have been wonderful for those two players this season. Of course, there has been major disappointment that the club has been relegated but Ian Holloway and Blackpool have been great for both Stephen and Charlie, and Matt Gilks for that matter. I think we have a lot to thank Blackpool for.”
Although Crainey will be involved in Wednesday’s match against Wales, he will have no part to play in Sunday night’s clash with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
Levein said: “Stephen Crainey to his credit has travelled over and he will play tomorrow night. He is going back on Thursday to have an operation on Friday.
“I’m grateful he has made the effort to come over because it would have been easy for him to say he had an operation at the end of the week. He was determined to come across.”
However, one player he does not expect to be leaving the Scotland camp is Aberdeen forward Chris Maguire, despite speculation regarding a medical at Derby.
“I did have a conversation very briefly with Chris but I’m sure that having an opportunity to be involved in the Scotland squad is far more important at this minute in time than having a medical,” said Levein.
According to Levein, the desire to win this tournament is strong within his players despite coming at the end of the season.
Levein added: “An obvious indication is the amount of withdrawals. From the original squad named we have lost Craig Mackail-Smith for a very good reason in that he is playing in the League One play-Off final, and Kris Commons.
“To lose just two, and one of them through no fault of his own, shows the commitment of the players and their willingness to come here and attempt to win this tournament.”