City striker looking for vital win over Scotland
CITY striker Steve Morison has labelled Wales’ clash with Scotland tonight as a ‘must win’ match for his country.
Wales lost their first two qualifiers but go in search of their first points and a first win under manager Chris Coleman at Cardiff City Stadium tonight as they look to get their World Cup qualification bid back on track.
Looking set for cap 19 for his country, Morison could well line up against a familiar face in Russell Martin, with the competitive banter between the two City team-mates already in full flow.
“He knows every trick of mine so I'm stumped!” Morison told Canaries.co.uk, “We'll just have to wait and see what happens but hopefully we'll both be playing and we can go toe-to-toe.
‘We've exchanged a bit of banter via text message and I'm sure we'll meet up for a nando's and a coffee after the match. But three points is a must on Friday and that's what we want and that's what we'll be striving to achieve.”
Although one man not involved is City’s Robert Snodgrass who was forced to pull out of the Scotland squad in the week with an ankle injury.
“It's a shame for Snod’s, I'm sure he would’ve loved to have been involved and played but fitness comes first and to make sure he's 100% fit. He needs to make sure he's right for our clash with Arsenal next weekend.”
Only three games into their qualification campaign, this is crunch time for Wales. Without a point from their first two games against Belgium and Serbia, Coleman’s side will be desperate to open their account against Scotland with a tough away trip to Croatia to follow on Tuesday night.
But Morison has been pleased by an enjoyable week spent with his teammates on the training pitches in South Wales and is sure that they can jump start their qualification campaign with a win tonight.
“We've got to start at some point and we need to make sure we start tonight against Scotland. We've got to get a win against Scotland.
“If we can do that then I think we've got a good chance as at the moment no-one is running away with the group.
“They don't come much tougher than Croatia away on Tuesday night but obviously we can't look to that as yet. We need to concentrate solely on Friday night and our clash with Scotland and hopefully take a good result into our next match in Croatia.”
It has been a busy week for Morison and Wales off the field this week with an awards dinner naming Liverpool’s Joe Allen as the Welsh Player of the Year and Swansea City’s Ashley Williams being handed the captaincy.
“Joe's had a great year hasn't he,” said Morison, “He topped that off by getting a good move to Liverpool in the summer.
“He had a fantastic season with Swansea last year and I'm sure it was a close call between him, Gareth Bale and Ashley Williams but it's a fantastic award and a great achievement for him.
“Ash is the Captain at his club and I think it was the obvious choice if the gaffer decided he wanted to make a change in that area. There were no surprises to be honest once Aaron (Ramsey) had handed the captaincy over.”
There was also a tribute to former manager and football legend Gary Speed at the awards dinner on Monday night following the tragic death of the former Wales manager in November last year.
“We had a tribute to him the other night at the awards dinner and it just put into perspective what a great man he was,” said Morison, “What he did for football and in particular welsh football was massive.
“He was a fantastic man, he's a legend within his own right and his legacy lives on with us now and hopefully we can all do him proud."