Maloney: We can match Serbia

PA Sport
Shaun Maloney says Scotland go into their World Cup qualifiers in confident mood

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Shaun Maloney says Scotland go into their World Cup qualifiers in confident mood

Shaun Maloney insists Scotland will be just as confident as Serbia heading into this weekend's opening World Cup qualifier after their manager claimed his side were the better team and heading to Hampden for a win.

Sinisa Mihajlovic has been quoted as saying he believes the Serbs are stronger than both Scotland and Wales, as they aim to take maximum points from their first two matches against the home nations.

But according to Maloney, there is no shortage of belief within Craig Levein's camp either and he says the talking will be done on the pitch on Saturday.

He said: "He is obviously confident in his team and he's trying to give his team confidence. On our side of things, I think we have to be just as confident.

"It'll come down to Saturday. I don't think it really makes too much difference whether I sit here and think we will be better and disagree with him. The performance on Saturday will dictate who wins the match.

"I think the confidence in the squad has certainly grown over the last year-and-a-half or so. The last campaign ended very well. It started slowly but the confidence grew.

"We had the game against Australia last month that we played well in. We are in a reasonable place and now we will see if we can take that into the actual qualifiers."

The Scots head into the double-header at home to Serbia and Macedonia on the back of the 3-1 win over Australia at Easter Road last month.

Maloney believes Levein's men must continue to produce the goods at home to have a realistic chance of coming through a tough group, which also includes Wales, Belgium and Croatia.

The Wigan midfielder said: "We need to believe. There is definitely a chance for us to qualify if we are at our best, particularly in the home matches. We are pretty optimistic at the start of the campaign and we're just looking forward to the games starting."

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