Craig Gordon is calling for a positive approach as Scotland prepare for their UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against France at the Parc de Princes. Alex McLeish's side moved back into second place in Group B following Saturday's 3-1 win over Lithuania and Gordon believes the side can get a result in Paris to maintain hopes of qualifying for next year's finals.
"We're going over there with the confidence that a 3-1 victory should give you," Gordon told uefa.com. "No team has a divine right to win a football match and we will give it our best shot. We can't have any other attitude going into a game of this magnitude. It's a big challenge and one we're all looking forward to." Gordon, who became Britain's most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Sunderland AFC from Heart of Midlothian FC for €13.25m this summer, was one of the heroes last October when Scotland stunned France 1-0 at Hampden Park.
Since then McLeish has built on the work started by Walter Smith with four wins from five competitive fixtures and while France will be intent on exacting revenge, Gordon does not necessarily expect a busy evening at the home of Paris Saint-Germain FC. "I thought that when they came to Hampden but I ended up not having that much to do," the 24-year-old custodian recalled. "They had a lot of pressure without creating many chances so hopefully it will be the same again. We've only conceded one goal in four games, so we're defending well and we'll need to continue doing that on Wednesday night. I would expect to be busier but you never know in football."
McLeish feels it would be "suicidal" to continue with a 4-4-2 formation in Paris and is set to recall captain Barry Ferguson as part of a five-man midfield designed to contain Les Bleus who will be without the suspended Thierry Henry. With Scotland not having won in France since 1950, Gordon admits the odds are stacked against them, but he points to the renewed goal threat posed by the Scots as grounds for optimism. "I think we've shown in recent games that we've got goalscorers throughout the team," he said. "Stephen [McManus] popped up with a vital one on Saturday; Kris [Boyd] and Garry [O'Connor] have been banging them in and then you have the likes of Shaun [Maloney] and James [McFadden] who can also change a game. That's something we've lacked in recent years, but we're scoring again and we're still in contention in this group."
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