David Marshall says Craig Levein under pressure to win in Wales

SCOTLAND goalkeeper David Marshall last night admitted that both Craig Levein and Chris Coleman are under pressure ahead of tomorrow night’s World Cup showdown.

The Cardiff City No 1 will be on his home ground for the Group A qualifying clash, but is almost certain to be on the bench. The former Celtic player admits the crunch game could prove crucial to the loser for either the Scotland or Wales manager.

He said: “It will be a long road back for the losers. Both managers need a win and are under pressure already.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

“It’s a crunch match for both Wales and Scotland. If either loses this match they are going to face a struggle.

“Scotland simply must come away with something from Friday’s match and we’ll certainly be going for the win.

“There are a huge amount of Scots coming down for the match from what I’ve heard and the atmosphere is going to be fantastic.

“I don’t know why this match isn’t being played at the Millennium Stadium, which would have made sense, but I always enjoy playing at City’s stadium.

“It will feel a little strange. But we have a job to do and that’s what we are focused on.”

Marshall will be back-up to Besiktas goalkeeper Allan McGregor tomorrow and he insists he isn’t bothered by that. And he believes Scotland are well served for keepers, adding: “There is little doubt Allan will play and that’s not a problem.

“He has done well for Scotland, has been in the national squad for a good number of years and I want him to produce the best performance he possibly can.

“It’s great being back involved with the national team.

“Allan was injured for a while and that gave me the chance to get back into the squad, while we’ve also got Matt Gilks fighting for number one spot and Craig Gordon pushing to get back in the frame.

“There is a lot of goalkeeping quality available for Scotland, but my job is to keep playing to the best of my ability with Cardiff City. The higher the level I play at the better it will be for my chances and that’s just one of the reasons I would love to help Cardiff earn promotion.”

Meanwhile, striker Kenny Miller has welcomed the return of Steven Fletcher to the Scotland fold, even though it could cost him his own place in the team tomorrow.

Fletcher has ended his international exile ahead of the World Cup qualifying double header against Wales and Belgium after the intervention of a third party helped him heal a rift with manager Craig Levein.

The in-form Sunderland forward had previously not been involved with the national team since informing the 
Scottish Football Association by text message that he did not wish to be selected for a game against Northern Ireland in 
February 2011.

Vancouver Whitecaps striker Miller – who has declared himself fit for tomorrow evening’s clash in Cardiff after recovering from a hamstring strain – is pleased the issue has been resolved despite the increased competition.

“Steven coming back into the squad affects me, of course it does,” said Miller, who scored in the 1-1 draw with Macedonia at Hampden last month.

“It affects me in the sense there is now a young player – who plays at a high level, scoring goals regularly – who is part of our squad. It’s competition, simple as that. But I’m absolutely thrilled the situation has been sorted, we all are. I said before the last qualifiers, the situation had to be resolved.

“As a group, we will gladly have him play.”