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McLeish: Full-strength Scotland can beat Italy

"We'd like to think we'll have everybody available for us, which is very important," he said. "It can hurt us when we lose first-choice players, although no criticism is meant at all of anybody who came in last night. It definitely hurts us when we lose guys who have been playing for us on a regular basis."

Scotland's last competitive defeat at Hampden was back in October 2005, a 1-0 reverse to Belarus in a World Cup qualifier. With the stadium full to capacity for the visit of Italy, McLeish believes anything is possible.

"We've been pretty good at Hampden, and this will be one of the big games again in Scotland's history," he said. "So we'll look forward to it and we'll know the size of the task.

"We say to the fans, stay behind us and stay positive.' One poor performance from us doesn't mean that everybody should start getting on the criticism bandwagon.

"We knew we had two hard games left. We've taken nine out of 12 points; if we'd taken 10 out of 12 we'd still have to get another three to qualify. So it is a fantastic achievement, though we are disappointed about losing to Georgia.

"We know there is the complication of Ukraine-France later, but we've got to go and try to win the Italy game. Italy know that a draw will be enough for them, because they will take care of the Faroes."

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