Scotland: Slovakia will seek to 'impose their play' on Scots in World Cup qualifier

Slovakia manager Jan Kozak
Slovakia manager Jan Kozak is prepared for a tough game at Hamden but believes his side will cope
World Cup qualifying: Scotland v Slovakia
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Thursday, 5 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Slovakia manager Jan Kozak says his side cannot wait for Thursday's World Cup qualifier at Hampden as "football is a religion here".

Kozak added that playing Wales and England at Euros 2016 was ideal preparation for meeting Scotland and his intention is to "impose our play" on the game.

Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik says the players know what it takes to win.

"Tomorrow will really be a showdown," said Kozak.

Both player and coach were unimpressed that some of their luggage went missing for a time at Glasgow Airport, making them 15 minutes late for their training session at Hampden.

Kozak, though, is relishing the prospect of facing Scotland, since a victory will end Gordon Strachan's side's hopes of finishing second. A point would also be enough for Slovakia, since they would then secure second place themselves by defeating Malta in their final Group F match.

"We want to show what we're capable of," Kozak said.

"Thank God we have this type of game tomorrow despite having had a very poor start to the qualifying campaign.

"These are the games you need to be excited about. Perhaps you have played 200 or 300 games in the league over your career which you don't remember.

"But this is the kind of game you will remember and whether they are good memories or bad memories depends on your performance."

Slovakia midfielder Marek Hamsik
Hamsik has declared himself fit for Slovakia

Kozak's side defeated Scotland 3-0 in Trnava 12 months ago, but he believes that Strachan has changed the Scots' approach since then and that his side will face a tougher opponent at Hampden.

"In the last game against them, we won 3-0 after a very good performance but since then the Scotland coach has changed the philosophy," Kozak said.

"He's built the team around the Celtic players and complements them with players in good form. They have good momentum now. They've improved their performances and will be keen.

"But we can say the same about our team. That's why we're really looking forward to the game. We have matured and improved our quality."

Hamsik has declared himself fit for the match in Glasgow and will earn his 100th cap when he runs out at Hampden, where he expects a "fighting football" from the home side.

"Scotland has been improving from game to game," Hamsik said. "They have the home advantage and will want to make the most of it.

"They play aggressive football but recently we have played a lot of matches against teams from the British Isles so we know what to expect. We have what it takes get a good result."

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