Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

McLeish wants to hear Hampden roar

Scotland manager Alex McLeish
Scotland manager Alex McLeish

Scotland boss Alex McLeish wants to get the country excited about supporting the national team again.

A crowd of between 20,000 and 25,000 is expected at Hampden Park tonight for the friendly with Costa Rica and Big Eck, who is starting his second spell in charge of the national team, intends to give the supporters a reason to keep coming back.

Twenty years without qualifying for a major international tournament has led to some disinterest in the fortunes of the national team. But McLeish’s experiences with the Tartan Army have shown him plenty of people still care about Scotland and he wants that feeling to spread.

He said: “They are still passionate about Scotland and we have to change the perception people don’t care. We are the ones who can change things. I’m not a player – but I can help to change the perception as well.

“It’s about getting people excited and it’s about winning as well. We had a good unbeaten run under Gordon Strachan and he just missed out on the play-offs. We have to find a way to win consistently. Not just good performances, a winning mentality.

“We are aware it is our duty to try and restore that fervour. Winning helps that obviously but we need to give a good performance level. We want to give the fans who come to the game something back. We thank them for coming, we know that it’s Friday night and Costa Rica are not the number one team in the world. But it’s a team that has qualified for the World Cup finals.”

Generating the same excitement from his previous tenure is a target, when Scotland were a game away from qualifying for Euro 2008 before a 2-1 defeat by Italy, sealed by Christian Panucci’s 91st-minute winner, cruelly denied them.

McLeish said: “It was a massive game. In the week leading up to it, you guys in the press built it up superbly. You knew it was one of the biggest games of your life. At 1-1 my career flashed before my eyes as James McFadden came in at the back stick for a ball across the face of the goal from Kenny and could just not connect with it.

“We bombarded the Italians in the second half and Barry Ferguson pounded Pirlo, and I thought: ‘That Pirlo guy must be ready to retire’. I didn’t know what age he was at the time. I think he played for about another 10 years to an even better level.

“That’s the type of team we were at the time. Not just a swashbuckling happy-go-lucky side, we were organised at the back, with big David Weir marshalling the troops, as we expect Charlie (Mulgrew) to.”

Captain Mulgrew, Pages 58, 59

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]