Klinsmann wary of Hampden challenge despite beating Scotland 5-1 last time out

By Mark Wilson

|


USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has insisted a revived Scotland will present a radically different foe to the one his side trounced 18 months ago.

The German legend has been hugely impressed by the progress Gordon Strachan has made in recent times — and admitted he hopes it will ultimately lead the Tartan Army back to the World Cup finals.

The two nations last met in May 2012, when a Scotland team under the charge of Craig Levein lost 5-1 in Florida in a post-season friendly.

Wary: Jurgen Klinsmann knows playing Scotland won't be as easy as it was last time

Wary: Jurgen Klinsmann knows playing Scotland won't be as easy as it was last time

‘We are expecting a completely different game this time,’ said the former Tottenham striker as he looked forward to tonight’s meeting at Hampden.

‘Everyone is well aware of that. Scotland did us the favour the last time to come over after their season, to Florida in 95 degrees.

‘We knew that it was going to be very difficult for them to bring everything they have when their season was already done. For us, it was a very important preparation game for the World Cup qualifiers, so we were on a totally different page at that moment focus wise.’

Levein was fired six months later, with Strachan creating an upswing in form that has produced back-to-back wins over Macedonia and Croatia.

That form has left Klinsmann wary of defeat as he tries to hone the American squad ahead of their participation in Brazil next summer.

‘This time, we expect a game eye-to-eye,’ said the German. ‘We want to play our game here, as well, but we know Scotland can score and can beat us. We’re going to be very alert.

Ready to go: Klinsmann watches as his team train at Hampden Park before the game

Ready to go: Klinsmann watches as his team train at Hampden Park before the game

‘Scotland have proven the point they are better than they were at the start of their campaign. This will be a real test for us.’

Klinsmann can recall playing against Strachan when the Scotland boss was a veteran midfielder with Coventry City and has great respect for his coaching abilities.

‘I admire Gordon and I think he has done very well since he came on board,’ said Klinsmann, before the USA trained at Hampden on Thursday night.

‘He’s always been a very hard-working person. He puts his sleeves up and says let’s get to work.

‘He did tremendously well as a player, he’s doing well as a coach and he has the right work ethic. In my opinion, he deserves a huge compliment.’

The Americans are preparing for their seventh successive World Cup, while Scotland have not been at any major tournament since France 98.

‘We wanted a match that will really put us on our toes and Scotland will do that,’ added Klinsmann, who will be without injured skipper Clint Dempsey.

Who to pick? Klinsmann assesses his options but cannot use the injured Clint Dempsey

Who to pick? Klinsmann assesses his options but cannot use the injured Clint Dempsey

‘They’ve beaten Croatia twice and it’s sad to see that they didn’t qualify because everybody wants to see Scotland at the World Cup because of their fantastic fans. They’re known worldwide.

‘But I don’t think you can compare Scotland and the USA because qualifying in Europe is different to qualifying in Concacaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football).

‘Three of the six teams in the final group make it, the fourth has a play-off; in Europe it’s only the first team and the second has a play-off chance.

‘We know why we are where we are, but we also know we have a long way to go and we’re very hungry for improvement.

‘We’re ambitious because Americans are ambitious people, they don’t like to be second, third or fourth — they want to be top.'

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

SOCCERBALL!

0
0
Click to rate

People need to sit up and take notice on how powerful a football nation the United States has become ranked #13 in the world with more than 50 players in Europe. All the Englishmen love to knock the MLS. Well, put OPR, Fulham, Sunderland in it and see how the do. How many leagues have many, many young internationals from the CONCACAF region and Henry and Beckham. It is a league that produced Mike Bradely, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Josy Altidore.

4
0
Click to rate

JOzy altidore= crap and the rest are below average

0
0
Click to rate

what worrying you jurgen? - whether you will score six or seven against this shower

8
0
Click to rate

'This shower'? How very stupid. And by the way - certainly hope that you don't imagine yourself to be English? Not form there, mate.

0
0
Click to rate

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now