03 Oct A win will do for Kenny
Kenny Dalglish claims there is no point putting extra pressure on Scotland by labelling Saturday’s home game against Lithuania a “must-win” encounter.
Scotland go into their first Hampden World Cup qualifier on the back of a 5-1 away win against Malta, while Lithuania were held to a draw by Slovenia.
Gordon Strachan’s side cannot afford many slip-ups if they are to win a group containing England and second seeds Slovakia but Dalglish feels his former Scotland team-mate was right to dismiss suggestions they had to beat Edgaras Jankauskas’ visiting team.
The Scotland record cap holder said: “If we get a good result on Saturday it sets us on our way.
“People are saying it’s a must-win, (but) it’s two games into the qualifying section.
“It’s important that you win, it’s important you get as many points as you possibly can early doors, but I wouldn’t say it’s that desperate at the moment.”
Dalglish, who was speaking at the unveiling of the newly-named William Hill Stand at Hampden, added: “If you go into the game and everybody is together, you are 100 per cent committed, you have a much better chance of being successful.
“I don’t see why we should be putting ourselves under pressure. Lithuania have had a home game and come away with one point. So they are a wee bit under duress as well, aren’t they? They will have expectations.
“They have been here a couple of times in recent years and always appear to be big, strong and quite well organised, maybe a little bit more defensive than what you would like.
“It’s going to be a difficult game to break them down but just be patient, and if we get a fluke, if we get an own goal that gets us through 1-0, fine, we’ll have it.”
Scotland benefited from some breaks in Malta but they grew into the game with the fit-again Robert Snodgrass and teenager Oliver Burke giving them an added dimension in the final third.
And Dalglish is confident Scotland can build on the positives of their ultimately disappointing Euro 2016 qualifying push.
“Continuity always helps if the guy in charge is the right guy, and wee Gordon is the right guy,” the 65-year-old said.
“When you consider where we were when we came in and just missing out on qualification last year. Nobody wants to miss out on qualification but that’s a lot closer than what we have been getting.
“He’s the right person and he can be proud of the advancements made in the Scotland squad since he’s been in charge.”
:: Kenny Dalglish was speaking at the unveiling of the new William Hill Stand at Hampden Park. William Hill is a proud sponsor of the Scotland national team.