Scotland v Georgia: Steven Naismith puts emphasis on attack

Scotland forward Steven Naismith
Steven Naismith has scored three goals in 30 international appearances
Scotland v Georgia - Euro 2016 qualifying
Date: Saturday, 11 October. Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Kick-off: 17:00 BST.
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland & online. Live text coverage on BBC Sport website.

Steven Naismith says Scotland will be "attacking and positive" when they meet Georgia at Ibrox on Saturday.

However, the in-form Everton forward expects the visitors to put up firm resistance in the Euro 2016 qualifier.

"Being at home with the crowd behind us, you want to dictate the tempo of the game," said Naismith.

"We need to push the momentum we have on into the campaign. But we have 90 minutes to break them down, it's not a case of needing to force it."

Having gone six games unbeaten, Scotland lost their Group D opener away to world champions Germany, while Georgia fell 2-1 at home to Republic of Ireland, with Naismith's Everton team-mate Aiden McGeady scoring twice.

Poland, who host Scotland on Tuesday, had no trouble thrashing Gibraltar.

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan with Derby striker Chris Martin
Derby striker Chris Martin (right) is an attacking option for coach Gordon Strachan

"In any international game the away team tends to start off compact and tries to feel their way into it, so we expect that," added 28-year-old Naismith.

"But you just need to look at the Ireland game. It took a fantastic bit of skill from Aiden to win it, so we know it's not going to be easy.

"We will need to be patient in spells and keep the ball and when chances come along we have to take them.

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Interview: Scotland forward Steven Naismith

"We have got players who can beat men one-on-one and we'll need that on Saturday."

Naismith played as a lone striker in Germany, a system often deployed by manager Gordon Strachan.

But Steven Fletcher ended a 10-month goal drought with a double for Sunderland last weekend, while Chris Martin has found the net seven times for Derby this season, so Naismith may have some company up front against a nation ranked 110th in the world.

"This game is different to the Germany game, with us being favourites at home and we want to be a bit more attacking," he said.

"Coming away with Scotland, you have to be prepared to play in a few positions. There's a lot of competition and you need to be ready to be play wherever you are asked to.

"We have a lot of players from midfield forward that can do that. Nobody is guaranteed a place and there are so many players on form.

"Stevie May has moved and had a fantastic start to the season, Fletch is scoring goals again, Chris Martin has been consistent for the last two years.

Scotland striker Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher made a positive impact from the bench against Germany

"That alone shows the manager has big decisions to make.

"Playing with two strikers doesn't necessarily mean you are being more positive but the manager will have a system in mind. He has vary rarely got it wrong since he took over."

Naismith has played with Fletcher at international level since the age of 17 and believes the pair could link well.

"We've come through the youth system, either playing as two strikers or me playing a bit deeper off him," he explained.

"There has been a past partnership and it's one I'm sure would work but we don't know if that's the way the manager is going to go.

"There are a few other combinations that could work but me and Fletch are playing well at the moment and that's good for Scotland.

"The manager never drops any hints. In training we all rotate in different roles and we work on a general game plan, rather than on individuals.

"We've mainly had a settled squad and partnerships have grown in all areas of the park and that's probably why we've had so much success over the period.

"We know what we have here is something special and we believe we can qualify. We need to deliver on the promise shown over the last 18 months."

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