Ivan Golac believes Serbia v Scotland is ’50/50′

The former Dundee United boss says Serbia have to prepare for a tough test in Belgrade.

Ivan Golac led Dundee United to the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history but his love affair with Scotland will be put to the test on Thursday night.

The Serbian is famously remembered for taking his players to smell the flowers in a local park in the build-up to the game.

Now 70, and back in Serbia, he is still as laidback as ever – and believes his countrymen should take a leaf out of his book and chill out ahead of the game.

“Logically, when you’re at home there’s already pressure on you,” he said. “Sometimes, when you have to win, that’s the hardest way to do it.

“When I was working I was always trying to take the pressure from the players. Every game is equally important and there’s no more important or less important. “

While Steve Clarke’s side have gone eight games unbeaten, Serbia have not won a game inside 90 minutes in almost a year and Golac is expecting it to go all the way tomorrow night.

“I know what the Scottish players are capable of,” he said. “I know the quality, the ability, the thinking.

“The bravery, the dignity and the heart. Scotland will give 120% definitely.

“We have to prepare for a game that lasts 120 minutes plus.”

 The Rajko Mitic Stadium, home to Red Star Belgrade, is the venue for the big game – normally noisy and hostile, it will be eerily quiet tomorrow night.

“The Red Star stadium is a big wonderful stadium,” Golac said. “I played there in the local derbies for Partizan and it was fantastic.

“But imagine the difference from 110,000 then and just 50 people in the ground today. It’s not the same.”

Golac was a TV pundit when Serbia shocked Norway in the play-off semi-final and he says he predicted a 2-1 win for his nation.

Pressed for a similar prediction for Thursday’s clash with Scotland, his answer may be encouraging for the Tartan Army.

“I don’t feel too optimistic,” he said. “It’s 50/50.”