GARY Caldwell’s national team boss Craig Levein insists Scotland have “nothing to fear” against Spain in tomorrow night’s do-or-die Euro 2012 Group I qualifier in Alicante.
Latics ace Caldwell played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as Craig Mackail-Smith’s first goal in his first international start against Liechtenstein in the Rheinpark stadium kept Levein’s qualifying hopes alive going into the final game against the world and European champions, who are looking to complete a clean sweep of victories in this campaign.
Scotland are one point above Czech Republic and must at least equal the Czechs’ result in Lithuania to book a play-off spot.
The Scotland boss is looking to take the uncertainty away from that scenario by inflicting an unlikely defeat on the Spanish.
“Our intention was to move into second place in the table and now we are in the position where the second place is ours to lose,” he said.
“We have a group of players who recover quickly, they are a fit bunch of guys and they are in a position I would have taken at the start of the campaign, where if we win the game we finish second, that’s a fact.
“It is a tall order, we understand that but there is nothing for us to fear, that is the important thing, there is nothing to fear.
“We are playing the world champions, of course, but we are in the position where if we win the game we qualify.
“I believe wholeheartedly in the players and their ability to rise to the challenge.”
Caldwell’s Latics club-mate James McArthur didn’t feature on Saturday night, however, after he was called into the Scotland squad as a late replacement for the injured Robert Snodgrass on Thursday.
James McCarthy didn’t feature either as his Republic of Ireland side cruised to a 2-0 win in Andorra on Friday night.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men now need just a point against Armenia tomorrow night to cement a place in the Euro 2012 play-offs.
Elsewhere on the other side of the globe, Latics’ favourite Maynor Figueroa couldn’t prevent his Honduras side from slipping to a 1-0 friendly defeat in the United States.