Scotland vs Israel is live on Sky Sports on Tuesday
Last Updated: 17/11/18 11:37pm
Alex McLeish called on the Tartan Army to pack out Hampden Park for Scotland’s crucial Nations League game against Israel on Tuesday night.
Despite having an injury-ravaged squad with nine dropouts, McLeish’s side hammered 10-man Albania 4-0 at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder to take them to within 90 minutes of a play-off spot.
Winger Ryan Fraser’s first goal for Scotland after 14 minutes gave the visitors the lead before home skipper Mergim Mavraj was sent off six minutes later by referee Vladislav Bezborodov for a headbutt on Ryan Christie. Striker Steven Fletcher scored with a penalty just before the interval and winger James Forrest grabbed a double in the second half, his first two for the national team.
Scotland now host Israel, live on Sky Sports, with any type of win securing a play-off spot for the 2020 European Championship and McLeish is looking for a big crowd at Hampden Park to help the players secure top spot in Group C1.
Scotland vs Israel
November 20, 2018, 7:00pm
“We always try to win so we have set ourselves up as have Israel and it should be a good game,” said the Scotland boss.
“We are at home so let’s hope there is a response from the Tartan Army. We’d like the supporters to come to cheer the guys to victory.
“If we play to that level again then we have a good chance.”
He told Sky Sports: “We’ve always known what we had to do. The win gives us a fantastic fillip going into the game on Tuesday against a decent team.
“They played very well against us last time but we probably allowed them to. Now we have to stop and nullify the threat of Moanes Dabour, who has been scoring freely in the domestic league and the Europa League.
“We do have a job on our hands, a good challenge, and with that performance tonight the players have to be super confident but not overconfident.”
McLeish was under pressure heading into the game against Albania following back-to-back defeats against Israel and Portugal.
He also had to contend with nine withdrawals from his squad but he insists he still had a positive feeling heading into the game.
“Obviously you don’t know the outcome before the games starts but I had a feeling about it,” he said. “I felt that if the players brought their performance level to the game then the outcome would be positive and that’s the way it turned out.
“It was an exceptionally professional performance from our lads. There was a look of familiarity about them and there were great performances. It’s hard to single one out.”
McLeish did eventually single out Fraser and Forrest for praise on a night they both hit their first goals for Scotland.
Speaking about Fraser, McLeish said: “We’ve hardly had Ryan and we’ve always said that when we get players of that calibre into the team then it’s going to make us better.
“He started off like a house on fire, was very dangerous and it was a great finish.
“James has been there or thereabouts in the last couple of years for Scotland,” he added about Forrest. “He’s been in great scoring form.
“He’s been in great form for his club and he continued that scoring vein which was marvellous to see. They were two really well-executed goals.”
Watch Scotland vs Israel live from 7pm on Tuesday on Sky Sports Main Event.