Slovakia must beat Scotland to retain World Cup hopes, says Jan Kozak

Slovakia head coach Jan Kozak shows his disappointment in Slovenia
Jan Kozak's side were disappointing in Slovenia
World Cup Qualifying Group F: Slovakia v Scotland
Venue: Anton Malatinsky City Arena, Trnava Date: Tuesday, 11 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app, live text on BBC Sport website

Jan Kozak believes his Slovakia side must beat Scotland on Tuesday to retain hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Slovakia have lost their opening games in Group F 1-0 to England and Slovenia.

"We have got ourselves into this situation with two unnecessary defeats," said coach Kozak.

"I think we could have done more. So we need to win this match if we want to keep hopes of qualifying. It is up to us to get out of this situation."

Kozak hopes the turning point in the campaign will come against Gordon Strachan's side, who are under some pressure themselves after drawing 1-1 with Lithuania at Hampden Park on Saturday.

"If we want to have the hopes to qualify for the World Cup in 2018, we need to get some points in this match," said the 62-year-old, who has been in charge since 2013.

"But it is not easy to win matches at international level.

"We are at home and we will try to play more attacking football, but we have to get a good balance between defence and attack."

Slovakia winger Robert Mak
Robert Mak thinks being runners-up is the best Slovakia can hope for in Group F

Scotland have never played Slovakia before, but Kozak believes his side can benefit from their experience of playing British opposition.

"It is good that we have played recently against teams from the British Isles like Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Wales and England, because their type of play is similar and the only difference is the quality of players," he said.

"They love football, they play with great enthusiasm and it will be an interesting match for us and the fans.

"Scotland is stronger as a team rather than individual players and, whether you play them at home or away, it is not going to be an easy game."

With England top of the group with six points from two games and heavy favourites to win the section, Slovakia winger Robert Mak accepts the best chance of reaching Russia is a second-placed finish good enough to provide entry to the play-offs.

"All the players were upset by the defeat in Slovenia, but we will try to forget the last match and we will take nothing else but a victory," he said.

"The manager will prepare us as best as possible and we hope we can do it tomorrow and at least be contenders for the play-off."

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