Naismith: Scots can Serb up a victory

Lisa Gray

STEVEN NAISMITH insists confidence is high in the Scotland camp despite competing in one of the toughest groups in World Cup qualifying.

Craig Levein's men open their campaign with the visit of Serbia at Hampden on Saturday, before hosting Macedonia three days later.

The Scots will also face testing opposition in the shape of Wales, Belgium and Croatia in Group A as they bid to book their place at Brazil in 2014.

Naismith knows the road to Rio will not be an easy one but feels there is plenty of belief among the Scotland players. He said: "If you look at the lower pots, we've probably got the tougher teams in each category.

"Then you come to the top pot and every nation has got real quality.

"We have got a tough group but we have shown in the games in the last two or three years what we can do.

"Against Spain at home we got beat 3-2 but it was more of a mistake rather than being cut open.

"We are confident. We are not under any illusions that there are going to be any easy games. It's going to be tough but we are capable."

Naismith was just 11 years old the last time Scotland featured in a major finals in 1998 and the desire is strong within the current crop of players to end that lengthy exile.

He said: "It's been so long since Scotland has been to a major tournament, if it was anywhere in the world, we would want to be there.

"The majority of the boys grew up watching Scotland the last time they made it to a major competition.

"Having the chance to get the country back there has got to be what everybody is striving for and I'm sure we will do our best."