BRAZIL boss Mano Menezes has revealed he developed a whole new respect for Scotland after watching them go toe-to-toe with world and European champions Spain.
The South American stars’ manager insists victory is vital for his side in the Emirates Stadium this afternoon after losing his last two friendlies to Argentina and France.
He is thrilled by the fact that around 40,000 Tartan Army footsoldiers will contribute to a capacity crowd and a special atmosphere. But he points out that he is more concerned by what will happen on the pitch and knows the Scots are capable of putting up a real fight after going down 3-2 to the Spanish at Hampden in the Euro 2012 qualifiers in October.
Menezes said: “Football is for the spectators and we will go out to play football to please the fans.
“However, the main thing for me is what happens on the field and we must seek to get used to winning again.
“I expect a great match and I can say that we respect every adversary.
“I don’t like to talk about particular players with Scotland and I know that they have a number of youngsters.
“But I saw Scotland’s game with Spain and the team played very well even though they lost.
“They competed on equal terms with Spain and showed that they can operate with a lot of players behind the ball.
“We must pay attention to the quality of their counter-attacks.
“We know all about that and we will pass that onto the players before the game.”
Menezes has spoken all week about the importance of doing a job on the Scots and convincing the doubters after those losses to Argentina and the French.
However, he insists he is not worried about what losing to the Scots would do to his long-term prospects in the job he only took over from Dunga in the wake of last term’s World Cup finals.
Menezes said: “I don’t get attached to jobs.
“I am a football coach, I like the job that I am doing and I hope to give confidence to the players.
“We are trying to evolve as a side and we know that victories will help in that.
“Building the confidence of the players is important and that becomes easier with positive results.
“That is the main thing for me.
“We have the Copa America coming up in the summer and it is always important that you establish players and systems.
“We are trying to go forward right now and we have a game with Holland lined up shortly after this one.”
Brazil lost AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato to injury on Thursday and saw Real Madrid left-back Marcelo counted out yesterday.
Menezes said: “I would have liked to see Marcelo on the pitch as he has been doing well for Real Madrid.
“It would be good to be able to field a full team, but you have to deal with the fact that injuries happen and we will not have any complaints.”
The Brazilian starting line-up will be: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Lucio, Thiago Silva, Santos, Elano, Lucas Leiva, Ramires, Jadson, Neymar, Damiao.
Published with thanks to Sunday Express Scotland