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Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 19:55 UK

Scotland fear Pandev, says Jonuz

World Cup qualifier: Scotland v Macedonia
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 5 September KO: 1500 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland the BBC Sport website, highlights on Sportscene on BBC One Scotland at 2315 BST

Goran Pandev
Pandev is the main threat to Scotland's defence at Hampden

Macedonia head coach Mirsad Jonuz believes Scotland are running scared of his top striker Goran Pandev.

Scotland assistant Terry Butcher has suggested that the Lazio star has a propensity for going to ground.

But Jonuz backed his key man ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier at Hampden, saying: "He is a big professional and always plays honestly.

"I think Scotland are afraid of him because Pandev is very dangerous and he could score."

Simulation has been high on the agenda in the wake of Arsenal star Eduardo being handed a two-game ban by Uefa for "deceiving the referee" to win a penalty against Celtic in their Champions League play-off clash.

When the issue came up earlier in the week, Butcher claimed the officials at at Hampden would have to keep a careful eye on Pandev.

And Jonuz believes trying to putting pressure on the referee shows the Scottish camp is worried by the striker, who scored a brace in the recent 3-2 friendly loss to Spain.

"It is wrong to compare him with Eduardo," the former Macedonia Under-21 coach said. "He is a different type of player. He doesn't want to simulate.

"I expect him to repeat his performance against Spain when we play Scotland."

Macedonia skipper Goce Sedloski also jumped to the defence of the Lazio forward, who has scored 17 goals in 47 internationals.

"Anyone can say what they want about Pandev but I know him as a player and as a man and he always acts correctly, and never simulates," he said.

"He is a good player, he has shown that in the qualification games and against Spain and there has only been one penalty for us in that time.

"I think the Scottish players respect him because he can decide the match in just one move."

Jonuz took over from Srecko Katanec, who left following Macedonia's 4-0 defeat to Holland in Amsterdam in April, but does not have much sympathy for counterpart George Burley, who is almost certain to lose his job if Scotland fail to win.

"The head coach is always in such a position," Jonuz said. "It is a hard job to do.

"If you are a success you stay in the job, if you are not then you leave.

"I think he is a good coach - but he was a better player.

"But we are focused only on our result, getting a draw or a victory.

"If we win it can give us a big opportunity to finish second and it can happen. We are not under pressure.

"We will try to win the game. If we are cautious it will be dangerous for us."

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see also
Scotland 2-0 Macedonia
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Burley praises players and fans
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Burley refuses to single out Iwelumo
04 Sep 09 |  Scotland
Burley has not spoken to SFA on future
04 Sep 09 |  Scotland
Peat confirms Burley job review
03 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Macedonia here to win - Shumulikoski
03 Sep 09 |  Scotland
Killie's Kyle to miss Scots games
29 Aug 09 |  Kilmarnock
Weir & Kyle recalled by Scotland
25 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Chick Young's view
25 Aug 09 |  Scotland
Scotland can bounce back - Burley
13 Aug 09 |  Internationals

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