Scotland in pursuit of redemption after shock defeat to Kazakhstan, insists Alex McLeish
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Supervisor Alex McLeish has vowed to maintain attempting to make amends for Scotland’s shock defeat in Kazakhstan – and claims there will likely be twists and turns of their European Championship qualifying group.
McLeish and his gamers have come underneath fireplace after a 3-Zero loss in opposition to the world’s 117th-ranked workforce of their opening Group I encounter, with their probabilities of automated qualification already written off in lots of quarters.
Scotland have solely as soon as reached a serious match after dropping their opening qualifier, once they recovered from defeat in opposition to then European champions Czechoslovakia to make the 1978 World Cup.
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Nations League success has earned Scotland a assured play-off place ought to they fail to complete within the prime two of a bunch additionally containing Belgium, Russia, Cyprus and San Marino, who host McLeish’s males on Sunday.
However McLeish is decided to make it up the supporters little by little and never wait till subsequent yr’s Nations League resumption.
“The one apology we can provide the followers is to exit and win the subsequent recreation,” he mentioned.
“We’re all hurting. We’re followers as effectively. I adopted the workforce as a younger man and I used to be at all times proud to put on the jersey. And these guys are as effectively.
“They don’t imply to play badly. They don’t imply to have one off night time. In current months they’ve proven some nice abilities, some nice outcomes, and we simply have to proceed with a bit of little bit of continuity when it comes to collection of the squad.
“We simply have to focus on profitable the subsequent recreation, and if we are able to do this, we attempt to win the sport after that.
“It’s the primary recreation. We all know it’s vastly disappointing for the Scottish nation and we’re gutted as effectively. I don’t like dropping. It’s not an ideal feeling, imagine me.
“We now have to imagine the group stage goes to have twists and turns. We all know there’s a transparent favorite however we expect there will likely be blips alongside the way in which.”
McLeish has Andy Robertson, Callum Paterson and Ryan Fraser out there after they missed the Kazakhstan recreation – the Liverpool left-back with a dental drawback and the latter two due to an settlement that they’d not play on the unreal pitch.
And the Scotland boss is decided to give attention to the long run somewhat than pore over their humbling within the Astana Area.
“We didn’t have a debrief per se,” the 60-year-old mentioned. “Clearly the lads are hurting by the end result, as a result of individuals anticipated us simply to show up and win. We all know soccer is a bit of bit completely different to these sorts of expectations however it’s a must to be at your finest and we weren’t at our greatest, and we admit that.
“They knew. And it’s a really fast turnover when it comes to the 2 video games. We travelled seven or eight hours on Friday so when it comes to the turnover, it’s tough to dwell on one thing that was very unfavorable whereas we are able to get ourselves immersed sooner or later and the subsequent recreation.”
McLeish was even much less keen to mirror in his pre-match media convention on what individuals are calling Scotland’s worst end result.
“I’ve not considered that,” he mentioned. “The one factor I’m enthusiastic about is the sport tomorrow night time. I’m not a dweller on historical past, so I sit up for the subsequent recreation.”
When requested whether or not he would count on to nonetheless be in his place if Scotland didn’t beat San Marino, he mentioned: “I don’t take care of speculative points and speculative questions. We simply put together the easiest with the squad we’ve and we glance to the blokes to carry out to their prime degree.”