Italy's soccer coach believes Scotland deserve Euro 2008 chance

Society Materials 17 November 2007 01:50 (UTC +04:00)

( AFP ) - Scotland fully deserved their victories over France and deserve their chance to knock one of the World Cup finalists out of Euro 2008, according to Italy manager Roberto Donadoni.

A win for Scotland against the world champions at Hampden on Saturday would mean they secure a place in the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer and would leave Italy needing Ukraine to do them a favour at home to France on Wednesday.

And Donadoni refuted suggestions Scotland have been lucky to reach this position in Group B or that they did not deserve their two stunning wins over France.

The Italy boss said: "You can have a lot of luck in football or you can have less luck, but Scotland beat France twice and deserved their victories.

" Scotland deserve to have a chance of qualifying for their performances in the section - it's not just about those two games against France.

"We need to be ready and if the players are not ready for this game then they will never be ready for any game.

"The Italian team are aware that in Scotland they are meeting an opponent who will use all their ability, all their aggression, their spirit and the backing of the crowd will also lift them.

"We will enter the field knowing we are up against a team just like us, made of flesh and bones but we will use all our abilities and motivation to obtain the result that we require."

A draw would be good enough to secure Italy qualification for the finals - with their final game at home to minnows Faroe Islands.

France manager Raymond Domenech has suggested both sides will settle for this result meaning his team have to beat Ukraine to join Italy in the finals, but Donadoni rejected this claim.

And the Italy manager also discounted any idea that it will be the Scottish fans that will be the biggest hurdle for his side to overcome.

Donadoni said: "We can't even enter the field thinking about getting a draw. We know this is a game where we are going to require patience and that we make no stupid mistakes.

"They have to respect the determination of their opponents. If it was just a case of playing at Hampden against the crowd then Italy would win but unfortunately we are playing against 11 very good Scottish players so it will be a hard game for us."

"All the Scottish players are very dangerous, not just one or two of them, as they are a very good team. So we are not worried just about Paul Hartley or Kenny Miller we must be worried about all their players."

Even if Italy lose to Scotland they can still qualify for the finals if France slip up in their final game away to Ukraine on Wednesday.

Donadoni said: "We have two matches left and Scotland have one left. From where I was brought up you have to receive a death certificate before you are declared dead and we'll see if we're still alive after we've played these two games.