Gibraltar won’t buckle easily, warns Gordon Greer

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FOR MOST Scotland players tomorrow’s Euro qualifier with Gibraltar at Hampden is a trip into the unknown, but centre-back Gordon Greer has revealed he has been given the inside track on the international minnows. The Brighton and Hove Albion defender has been primed by his club’s analyst Jansen Moreno, who just happens to be a Gibraltarian.

Asked what he knew about tomorrow’s opponents, who have no points from four games, Greer, 34, said: “You would be surprised. We have an analyst who works for the club who is Gibraltarian, so he has been filling me in.

Gordon Greer trains ahead of his side's forthcoming fixture against Gibraltar. Picture: SNS

Gordon Greer trains ahead of his side's forthcoming fixture against Gibraltar. Picture: SNS

“It is not as much as the Scotland manager knows but he has been speaking to me about it.

“He is always talking about Gibraltar and he has a few friends who play for the team as well. He wished me luck and said he was going to be watching the game. I would love to score to be honest but I am sure he wouldn’t.”

The visitors, the vast majority of whom play part-time with clubs in Gibraltar, have shipped 21 goals so far in the campaign including seven in each of the matches against Poland and Republic of Ireland.

However, Greer tried to dampen down expectations of a goal-fest at Hampden and believes patience could be key “I think the pressure that is on us now is to break them down and score the goals because other teams have done that, but ultimately it is all about just winning the game,” said the former Kilmarnock and Swindon Town player.

“Obviously, if you score a lot of goals in front of your home fans and everything is great then it is a perfect afternoon. But these players are no mugs and for me it is all about winning the game and moving on.

“It will be a difficult game and difficult to break them down and we are preparing as best we can. The squad has watched bits and pieces on video. Obviously they were playing against some good opposition. They put men behind the ball in the Germany game, the same against Ireland and Poland, so I think it will be much the same on Sunday.

“You have 90 plus minutes in a game so at the end of the day when the final whistle goes you just want to have three points and hopefully the team puts on a good performance.”

Strachan’s side go into the game on the back of a 1-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland at Hampden on Wednesday night where it took an 85th-minute header by substitute Christophe Berra to separate the teams.

Greer believes that match was ideal preparation for a much more important game.

“The game the other night was a good test for us going in to the Gibraltar game,” he said.

“At times we struggled to break them down in the final third but we will do our best to break Gibraltar down as early as possible.”

Scotland, bidding to qualify for the finals of a major championship for the first time since 1998, have seven points from their opening four matches in Group D. After beginning the campaign with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of world champions Germany in Dortmund, the Scots got off the mark with a 1-0 win over Georgia at Ibrox. A 2-2 draw with Poland in Warsaw followed, before a hard-fought 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park in November.


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