McInally backs Scots to defeat Dutch

Former Scotland striker Alan McInally says he is confident that George Burley's side can pull off a major upset by beating Holland at Hampden Park on Wednesday night and seal their place in the qualification play-offs for the 2010 World Cup.

The Scots need all three points against a Dutch side that has won all seven of their qualifiers to date in order to finish second in Group 9 and ensure them a play-off place

And although former Aston Villa and Bayern Munich striker McInally admitted that it will be a tough ask at Hampden Park to conquer Bert van Marwijk's men, he has faith that the Tartan Army will be heading to South Africa next summer.

"It’s a massive game. We can do it - we’ve seen great performances against Italy, we went to France and beat them, and the fact that this one’s at Hampden gives us an even better chance," he exclusively told FourFourTwo.com.

McInally - who won eight caps for his country, netting three times - acknowledged Scotland’s lack of strength in depth, but believes the side should take confidence from last Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Macedonia that has left them in sight of a play-off place.

"We’ve got David Weir at 39 years old as one of our most reliable defenders - that tells you all you need to know about Scottish football, and the squad that George Burley has to choose from," said the Sky Sports pundit.

"But Weir did an absolutely fantastic job against Macedonia - as did Stephen McManus, who hasn’t played a competitive game for Celtic after his injury - and let’s hope they carry that into the match with Holland.

"We got the result against Macedonia when we had to win, and I really believe that we’re better when we’re up against it. If we play like we did in the second half we’ve got a shot."

Holland travel to Glasgow having already qualified for the World Cup, and McInally feels that this could prove pivotal to Scotland's chances.

"The fact that they have already qualified could give us an edge, because there is nothing for them to play for," he said.

"However, the worst thing that could happen to Scotland is that Holland play their second string. Then you’ve got 11 people who are going to go out there to try to get a place in the World Cup squad.

"I’d rather they play their big guns because they may only give 80 percent - and that could allow Scotland to beat them. That’s what we have to hang on to."

While the win against Macedonia was vital, Saturday’s success came at a price, with James McFadden's yellow card ruling the influential forward out of the clash.

"That was an absolute disaster," McInally admitted. "James is at the forefront of our ball play and creativity. I think he was unlucky to get booked – I still don’t know what it was for!

"It’s a problem – we don’t really have anybody that can replace James McFadden."

However, McInally was keen to focus on the positives, eagerly stressing the importance of the Tartan Army’s role in Wednesday night’s match and urging Scottish fans to believe in their nation’s chances.

"We have terrific supporters, and to think the last time they saw us qualify for a major tournament was 1998 in France is ridiculous," he said.

"I’ve been telling everybody that no matter who George Burley picks to wear that shirt, we have to stand by the manager and the team.

"It would be easy for me to say Scotland have no chance. Holland are a great passing side with some quality players. Granted, they are 3rd in the world and we’re 30th – but we’ve got to have a bit of faith.

"People may think that us beating Holland is a little pie in the sky, but we can do it - we just need a bit of lady luck on our side."


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