Levein smarting over Miller axe claims

Craig Levein admits the furore over Kenny Miller has hindered Scotland's preparations for the Euro 2012 qualifier away to the Czech Republic.

Last Updated: 07/10/10 at 15:45

Levein: Decisions to make

Levein: Decisions to make

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The Scotland boss has been unhappy with reports claiming the Rangers striker is set to be dropped for Friday night's clash in Prague.

Miller is enjoying the best form of his career, with 10 goals in the SPL already this season, and is usually given the nod as Scotland's lone striker.

He is also in line to win his 50th cap but is reportedly set to be axed in favour of club-mate Steven Naismith and QPR's Jamie Mackie, in what has been described as a 4-2-2-2 formation.

Reports of his plans have possibly offered the Czechs some hints of how Scotland will line up.

"It's been a hindrance and it's taken up too much of my time," Levein said.

"My worries are on the best way to win this match. My views on the best way to win this match haven't changed from a few weeks ago.

"It's frustrating from my point of view. It doesn't help. My sole purpose is trying to win a football match here in Prague and it frustrates me that folk have other agendas.

"There is nothing I can do about that, I just concentrate on the football side. The players are in their own little bubbles, they are going about their work."

Asked if he has spoken to Miller about the situation, Levein replied: "I speak to players on a daily basis. I'm not going to speak to you about the things I speak to the players about.

"I said my piece yesterday, I've got a game to win and petty squabbles outside the camp don't concern me.

"I'm the one who deals with all this nonsense, the players get on with their business. Anything that goes on between myself and the players, that's our business."

Levein has injury doubts over Alan Hutton, Steven Whittaker and goalkeeper Allan McGregor but will have a better idea of his final line-up after training on Thursday night.

He said: "As the week has progressed, we are getting more and more guys back from niggling injuries.

"Tonight after the training session I will know for certain who will be 100% available to play. I will pick the team based on who I think are the best players to win this game.

"That's my job, my job isn't to tell you guys what my tactics are."

Scotland sit joint top of Group I after two games, while their hosts tomorrow are joint bottom after losing their opening game.

And, as far as Levein is concerned, all the pressure is on the home nation.

"I think this game is a big match for the Czech Republic as well," he said.

"They lost at home against Lithuania and that puts added pressure on them for this game.

"If the Czech Republic team don't take three points from this game, they will be in a very difficult position.

"I think the Czech Republic have very good players but for me this is a game that we don't need to win but the Czech Republic must win.

"The pressure for me is not on the Scotland's players, it's on the Czech Republic."

Kick-off 7.15pm.

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Fixtures

Thursday, 09 October 2014
19:45
Belarus v Ukraine  
England v San Marino  
Liechtenstein v Montenegro  
Lithuania v Estonia  
Macedonia v Luxembourg  
Moldova v Austria  
Slovakia v Spain  
Slovenia v Switzerland  
Sweden v Russia  
Friday, 10 October 2014
Belgium v Andorra  

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