DAVID MARSHALL insists he has no fears about returning to the x-certificate scene of his greatest disappointment as a Celtic player.
And the keeper is confident he can help Scotland to get the required result in their all-important World Cup qualifier in Slovakia tonight.
The Hull City No.1 was with the Parkhead men when he conceded five goals as the Hoops, managed by Gordon Strachan for the first time, collapsed to a shock Champions League qualifying result against Artmedia Bratislava in 2005.
Marshall, though, is undeterred about the location of the vital Group F match this evening.
The 31-year-old Glaswegian revealed that Strachan’s international players are determined to make up for a dismal display in the last-gasp 1-1 draw with Lithuania at Hampden on Saturday.
He said: “As a Celtic player, the Artmedia defeat was probably the worst. But we are fully focused on helping Scotland to bounce back from Lithuania and defeat Slovakia.
“There is still a sense of disappointment among the lads that we dropped points. There was confidence going into the game. There are a lot of fresh, new players in the squad and beating Malta 5-1 was a big confidence boost.
“But, as the gaffer and the boys are all saying, it is a big game tonight and if we go and win it, we are right back up there again.”
Slovakia have lost their opening two ties – both 1-0 against England and Slovenia – are are bottom of Group F alongside Malta.
The shotstopper said: “They will be under pressure just the same as us. If we can use that and start the game well, it piles the pressure on them. The first goal is going to be so important.
“They have not started well, so we will be looking to take advantage of that and get the crowd on their backs.
“The margin of error isn’t great. We are now going to have to win the vast majority of our home games to get through.
“But the way the group is, a lot of teams are going to take a lot of points off each other. We just hope that the away games that we are expected to get draws in we now go and win.”
A section of the Tartan Army turned on the manager and the players at the weekend after they fell behind to opponents who are in 117th spot in the FIFA world rankings.
Marshall, though, has no problems with fans giving the team stick if they fail to perform to the best of their abilities. He added: “You can understand it, but I felt the boys handled it well. We knew we were going to get chances. We always do at Hampden and we did.
“The fans were brilliant, especially towards the end. They were really pushing us forward. We just have to be patient and play our own game.
“There will be quite a few of our fans at the game tonight and they will make their presence felt. That can help us.”
Meanwhile former Celtic skipper, Andy Lynch will publish his autobiography on 18 October on CQN Books. It’s called Hoops, Stars and Stripes and he has worked on the book with respected Celtic author Paul Dykes.
Paul has kindly given us 100 signed copies of The Quality Street Gang to give away to the first 100 CQN’ers to order Andy’s new book, which is a fascinating read. You’ll have to be quick though – order at www.cqnbookstore.com and you will receive two great books for just £14.99 plus p&p.