11 Oct Fletcher there to win
Captain Darren Fletcher remains bullishly confident ahead of Scotland’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Tuesday night.
The Scots’ hopes of reaching Russia in 2018 took a dent with the 1-1 draw against Lithuania at Hampden Park on Saturday.
The result took Gordon Strachan’s men to four points from two games but it put pressure on the side for their trip to Trnava to face a team who are under some scrutiny themselves after losing their first two Group F fixtures.
However, Fletcher, who will undergo a fitness test on a thigh injury which led to him coming off at the interval for James McArthur the scorer of an 89th-minute leveller, insists there is still everything to play for in the group.
“Of course there was initial disappointment,” said the 32-year-old West Brom midfielder.
“It was a game we expected to win and wanted to win, we do look at it as a missed opportunity.
“At the same time we showed great character at a goal down to come back and get the equaliser, it might turn out to be a massive point.
“We still find ourselves second in the group and we come here confident.
“Slovakia aren’t in a good place just now, and with them being second seeds in the group, if we could win here then it would be massive.
“Even coming here and not losing would put us in a strong position in the group with plenty of games to play.
“We’re not ruling ourselves out. We’re still in this group and still fighting, there’s still a long way to go and we still believe in ourselves.”
Fletcher did not train with the squad on Monday but is willing to take a risk with his injured thigh in his desperation play.
“It’s still a bit sore but it’s progressed quite well,” he said
“I’m hoping that I wake up and it’s improved again and I’ll go for a fitness test. Fingers crossed that I’m available for selection.
“Of course I’d risk it, but that’s down to the manager as well if I’m able to play. I’m desperate to play.
“I’ve nothing to save myself for. Club games are important but representing your country is equally important.
“I don’t look to protect myself, if I’m available to play and the manager selects me then I’ll be out there doing my best.”