Club News

Team-mate helps Mozza ahead of Slovakia showdown

JAMES Morrison has called on the help of a fellow Baggies international to help prepare for Scotland’s showdown with Slovakia at Hampden in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.

Scotland and England have now completed their Group H duels and ‘Mozza’ has been free to get the lowdown from Jake Livermore on the Slovaks. 

The Scots are back in the hunt for a shot at qualifying with everything resting on these last two games - and Morrison is desperate to take this chance to finally grab a spot at the biggest football tournament of all.

“I spoke to Jake and he said Slovakia are a really good team,” says James. “It will be difficult. Jake just said they are a good team, a good passing team, who have got some good players.

“The two key names that we have seen are Skrtel and Hamsik. They also have Weiss, who was at Rangers. They have some good players. We will have to get our game plan right and do what we have done at Hampden in our last few games there.

“I don’t even look at it as being one of the biggest games of my career. It is another game. I have played in big games week in, week out for some times. There is the same amount of pressure all the time now. I just deal with it how I deal with week in, week out.”

Albion’s midfielder is tipped to start against Slovakia on a night his team needs to win in order to keep alive their hopes of finishing second the group and securing a play-off spot alive.

Competing in a major international finals event is one gap on Morrison’s footballing CV but he says: “It does play on my mind. I have got other people around me at my club going to tournaments and stuff. Time could be running out for me.

“Everyone wants it badly. We have just got to try and do as well as we can. We don’t want to think about not performing because then it might happen. We will just go and concentrate on our own performances and look at it that way.

“Maybe I have got to put more into the game and look at it that way. If we get through Slovakia we have got another tough game away against Slovenia. It will be a tough job, but it is one we are capable of doing.

“At least we’re in it. It’s in our hands, we know what we have to do. It’s a good challenge and one we’ll work hard at this week. Another positive is it’s at home and we have a good record there so we will go into it confidently.

“I think we have good momentum,” he says. “Results do that. Wins breed confidence and performances. We’re in a good place. In the last campaign we started well and faded so hopefully it’s reversed.

“We were in the same place when we played Poland at Hampden in the last campaign. We nearly did that but nearly isn’t going to be good enough this time. We know what we’ve got to do and we’ve got a target.

“It’s similar to the England game if you look back to that. We’ve just got to learn from those experiences and see games out which is what good teams do.”

He added: “But we have good morale at the moment. In the last campaign we needed two good results and didn’t get them. I can imagine what the feeling would be like if we did get them this time." 

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