Scotland Under-21s: Billy Stark demands win in Euro 2015 opener
Last updated on .From the section Football
Coach Billy Stark has underlined the importance of Scotland opening their 2015 Uefa Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign with a home win.
The Scots play Luxembourg at St Mirren Park on 25 March, their first match in Group Three, which also includes Netherlands, Slovakia and Georgia.
"The nature of the competition is that there is little margin for error," said Stark after naming his squad.
"You want to get off to a good start, particularly when it is a home game."
Scotland just missed out on a play-off spot in the previous European qualification campaign, the finals for which are being played in Israel in June.
In their eight matches they secured home and away wins over Luxembourg, earned a win and a draw against the Netherlands, and suffered their sole defeat to Austria.
But even that was not enough to clinch top spot in the group, so Stark wants maximum points from the beginning as his team tries to reach the finals in the Czech Republic.
"We started with a 0-0 against Bulgaria the last time and you always thought you were chasing it after that," he said.
"It is an opportunity to get a good start. Luxembourg are not regarded as giants of the group, that is for sure. But we know from past experience that they can be a tough nut to crack - it took a good hour in the last game to do that.
"They pretty much have the same squad and they will have that extra experience.
"But if we want to be regarded as genuine contenders then these are the games that we must win and I am very optimistic."
Stark's squad features only two players who have yet to win a cap at this level - Celtic goalkeeper Robbie Thomson, 20, and Bournemouth forward Ryan Fraser, who has just turned 19.
Stark said of the former Pittodrie favourite: "Ryan started the season very well with Aberdeen and has been involved in the last half-dozen games at his new club Bournemouth.
"He is in the penetrating winger mould and his club manager has been really happy with him.
"He gives us that dynamic, positive play that we want to see and, although he might be slightly younger than the majority of the squad, he has shown that he is mature enough physically to handle first-team football."
And only four players in the 22-man squad have scored for the Under-21s - Aberdeen defender Ryan Jack, Tannadice midfielder Stuart Armstrong, Chelsea forward Islam Feruz and Celtic striker Tony Watt.
Scotland squad for match against Luxembourg at St Mirren Park:
Goalkeepers: Jordan Archer (Tottenham Hotspur, on loan to Wycombe Wanderers), Christopher Kettings (Blackpool), Robbie Thomson (Celtic)
Defenders: Kieran Duffie (Falkirk), Fraser Kerr (Birmingham City, on loan to Motherwell), Ryan Jack (Aberdeen), Kevin McHattie (Hearts), Clark Robertson (Aberdeen), Lewis Toshney (Celtic, on loan to Dundee), Murray Wallace (Huddersfield Town)
Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United), Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle), Fraser Fyvie (Wigan Athletic), Jason Holt (Hearts), Rhys McCabe (Sheffield Wednesday), Kenneth McLean (St Mirren)
Forwards: Islam Feruz (Chelsea), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Dylan McGeouch (Celtic), Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock), David Smith (Hearts, on loan to Raith Rovers), Anthony Watt (Celtic)