Mackail-Smith cherishes first Scotland goal

Spain v Scotland

Venue:
Estadio Jose Rico Perez, Alicante
Date:
Tuesday 11 October
Kick-off:
1945 BST
Coverage:
Live on BBC One Scotland, BBC Two elsewhere in UK, BBC Radio Scotland 810MW, BBC Sport website (UK users only)

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Interview - Scotland striker Craig Mackail-Smith

Scotland striker Craig Mackail-Smith decribed netting his first international goal in the 1-0 win over Liechtenstein as "fantastic".

The Brighton player was deployed in the lone striker role after Kenny Miller failed to recover from a groin injury.

"Three points was the main aim and it was a great performance by all the boys," said Mackail-Smith.

"Now we take it on to Tuesday and hopefully put the same kind of performance in against Spain."

Craig Mackail-Smith celebrates after scoring Scotland's winner against Liechtenstein
Mackail-Smith's goal was the difference between Scotland and Liechtenstein

Scotland, who next take on the world and European champions in Alicante, are second in Euro 2012 qualifying Group I, one point ahead of Czech Republic, who take on Lithuania in Kaunas in Tuesday's final round of fixtures.

If the Scots match the Czechs' result, they will clinch a play-off spot for next summer's finals, with tournament holders Spain having already qualified as group winners.

"It's nice to get on the scoresheet," added Mackail-Smith. "[The Liechtenstein goalkeeper] did fantastic, he pulled off some great saves but it shows how many chances we're creating and hopefully we can do that on Tuesday and put a few in the back of the net.

"It was slippy underfoot and the ball was zipping all over the place but I thought the boys dealt with it well.

"We moved the ball well, moved it quick and created openings and if we can do that on Tuesday, we stand a chance.

"It's going to be harder on Tuesday against world-class opposition but we're going to put ourselves on the pitch and do the best we can."

Meanwhile, former Scotland coach Craig Brown has tipped Craig Levein's current side to upset the odds by winning in Alicante.

Spain have a 100% record so far in Group I but Brown, the last man to lead Scotland to a major finals, is optimistic.

"I'm one of the few people that thinks we'll beat Spain," the Aberdeen manager told BBC Radio Scotland's Off the Ball programme.

"I really feel confident about that because we'll be up for it and I suspect the Spanish players will just fulfil the fixture.

"In friendly matches they've got a poor record and this is equivalent to a friendly.

"I know the Czech Republic one [Spain's 2-0 win on Friday] was as well but this is even more of a friendly.

"If you're playing for Barcelona, you're not going to go into a 50-50 challenge and risk an injury against a Scottish player whose really up for this fixture.

"For that reason; not that we're better than Spain, but because our attitude might be better than the Spanish attitude, I think we have a great chance. The stakes are higher for us, they've already qualified.

"They don't have to win. It's not the big stadium in Madrid, it's in Alicante. Everything points to a great chance for Scotland in my opinion."

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