Hartley expects response against Wales

PA Sport
Craig Levein is a man under pressure after two draws for Scotland
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Craig Levein is a man under pressure after two draws for Scotland

Former Scotland midfielder Paul Hartley is confident jeers will turn to cheers when Craig Levein's side resume their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign against Wales in Cardiff next month.

Scotland play Wales on October 12 seeking a first win of a qualifying campaign which began with home draws against Serbia and Macedonia. They already trail Serbia, Belgium and Croatia by two points in Group A.

But 35-year-old Hartley, who made 25 appearances for Scotland, said: "There's a bit too much doom and gloom about our national game at times. Hopefully we can raise the standard and get a good result."

He added: "The Wales game becomes such a vital game now and it's a game they can win, that's for sure.

"You can't write us off. Craig will admit we're disappointed to draw the two games, but the important thing is we didn't get beat."

Levein's position has become under scrutiny as a result of the start to the qualifying campaign, but Hartley backed the former Hearts and Dundee United boss to deal with any flak thrown his way.

"It's such an intense job, but if we win in Wales all is forgotten," Hartley added.

"I'm sure he can handle that pressure. It comes along with the job, being the national manager. To try to get to the World Cup, the pressure's on you, everybody scrutinises you and it's not easy."

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