Tag Archives: scots

Godsmejudge wins Scottish Grand National for Alan King

Godsmejudge delivers Scottish Grand National glory for King and Hutchinson

By
Jonathan Powell

PUBLISHED:

15:47 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 20 April 2013

Scots-born trainer Alan King was overcome with emotion after his smart novice Godsmejudge gave him his first triumph in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

King, who was brought up near Glasgow, admitted: 'This means as much to me as any of the wins I've had. It is like coming home.'

National glory: Wayne Hutchinson celebrates Scottish Grand National glory with Godsmejudge

National glory: Wayne Hutchinson celebrates Scottish Grand National glory with Godsmejudge

But for another Scotsman, Ryan
Mania, and his mount Auroras Encore, this proved one National too many
after their shock success at Aintree a fortnight ago.

The pair were soon struggling towards the rear as they sought to emulate Red Rum's famous double in 1974.

Though they briefly made progress at
halfway, they were out of the race long before the end. Mania was
clearly thrilled to be riding again so soon after a heavy fall at Hexham
the day after the National that saw him airlifted to hospital by
helicopter.

Home alone: Godsmejudge clears the last

Home alone: Godsmejudge clears the last

Godsmejudge, a 12-1 shot, won with eye-catching ease after jumping to the front early on the final circuit.

Big Occasion threatened briefly
early in the straight, but was never going to catch the leader. Jubilant
jockey Wayne Hutchinson, gaining the biggest win of his career, said:
'For a little horse, Godsmejudge is like a rubber ball, so enthusiastic.
He's relentless with his jumping and galloping and soon got into a
great rhythm.

'Once we led, it seemed awfully quiet behind us.'

King spent many years as a hard-working assistant to legendary trainer David Nicholson.

He briefly took over the licence
from Nicholson before sending out a conveyor belt of winners from his
current base at Barbury Castle, Wiltshire.

This has been a testing season for
King, with several of his best horses out of action, but he is finishing
it with a flourish with the able assistance of the ever-reliable
Hutchinson.

SIX NATIONS 2013: Andy Farrell – Jim Telfer "arrogant England" jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir passion

Farrell: Telfer's 'arrogant England' jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir up passion

By
Alex Lowe, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:15 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 29 January 2013

JIM TELFER EXCLUSIVE

Lions legend: Jim Telfer was critical of England

England are too arrogant, pretentious and condescending to realise they're not as good as they think they are!

Click here to read the full explosive interview

Andy Farrell has insisted he does not recognise the accusation of 'arrogance' that has been levelled at the England squad by Lions legend Jim Telfer.

Responding to Sportsmail's exclusive interview with the former Scotland coach, Farrell revealed the players have laughed off the jibes, which he believes are designed to get the Scots fired up before their trip to Twickenham for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown.

The England management under Stuart Lancaster have worked hard over the last 12 months to eradicate any sense of arrogance from the national team.

Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning

Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning

Farrell said: 'I definitely don’t recognise anything he has said.

'People say this every year about the English anyway. It has stuck now. That is why we take it tongue-in-cheek. We know exactly what we are about.

'A couple of the lads have seen it and they are all taking the mick out of each other. They think it’s quite funny about those who have been mentioned. There are a few jokes flying around the place.'

Telfer told Sportsmail that England, who beat New Zealand on the same weekend as Scotland lost to Tonga, are not as good as they think they are.

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

He said: 'They are too arrogant, too pretentious and too condescending to realise they have a problem.'

Chris Ashton, Danny Care, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi were named as 'very impressionable' players who let the All Blacks win go to their heads.

There was credit for England’s coaching team of Lancaster, Farrell and Graham Rowntree, who Telfer described as: 'All from the North and all down to earth.'

Lancaster’s first aim when he took interim charge of the England squad a year ago was to reconnect the national team to their roots.

On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday

On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday

Talking tactics: England backs coach Andy Farrell (right) with captain Chris Robshaw on Tuesday

Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster

Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster

In the wake of the 2011 World Cup disappointments, Lancaster wanted to restore a sense of pride in the jersey from within the squad and a sense of pride in the England team from the public.

England now prepare for the RBS 6 Nations in Leeds rather than in Portugal. They drew 6,000 to an open training session at Headingley and Lancaster last Friday held a seminar for 500 grass-roots coaches.

Telfer’s comments have certainly stoked the boiler ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham, where Scotland have not won in 30 years.

'He’s Scottish isn’t he, very passionate about his country and he wants to give his lads as much belief as he can,' Farrell said. 'He cares about his country.

'It is him trying to do the right thing by his own country, to try and motivate them.

'That is what he has always been about really – passion and stirring a few feathers up along the way. It is what you want, a bit of passion.'

Craig Levein starts legal proceedings against SFA after "resigning" as Scotland manager

Levein starts legal proceedings against SFA after 'resigning' as Scotland manager

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 19 December 2012

Former Scotland manager Craig Levein has opened legal proceedings against the Scottish Football Association.

Levein was 'relieved of his duties' by the SFA on November 5 following a disappointing start to the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The SFA has confirmed Levein has now instructed his lawyers to serve a writ on the Association, who had offered to honour the remainder of his contract in full.

Action: Levin has opened legal proceedings against the SFA

Action: Levin has opened legal proceedings against the SFA

A statement from the SFA read: 'Regrettably, the Scottish FA has received notification from lawyers representing Craig Levein that their client has served a writ on the Association.

'This notification has been received despite the Scottish FA's offer to honour Craig's contract in full, an offer that was made immediately upon the Board's decision to relieve Craig of his duties on November 5, 2012.

Axed: Levein was shown the door in November

Axed: Levein was shown the door in November

'The Scottish FA has since received notification that Craig has chosen to resign, thereby foregoing the offer made to honour his contract in full.

'In the notification received, failure to make a proposal in lieu of compensation has been cited.

'It is the view of the Scottish FA that no such offer is required given Craig's decision to resign, especially since an offer of mediation was rejected by his legal representatives.

'We will make no further comment at this time.'

Levein had found himself under pressure after the Scots failed to record a single win from their opening four games of the current campaign.

Draws at home to Serbia and Macedonia, followed by defeats away to Wales and Belgium, left Scotland bottom of their group with little hope of booking their place at Brazil in 2014.

Those results ultimately sealed the fate of the former Hearts and Dundee United boss and his near-three-year tenure came to an end last month.

Under-21s boss Billy Stark was placed in interim charge while the SFA search for Levein's successor.

Christophe Berra says Craig Levein not to blame for Scotland"s Wales defeat

Don't blame Craig! Berra defends Levein after devastating qualifying defeat to Wales

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UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 14 October 2012

Scotland defender Christophe Berra insists the finger of blame should not be pointed at boss Craig Levein following their World Cup qualifying defeat to Wales.

The manager has found himself under even more pressure in the wake of the 2-1 loss in Cardiff, which leaves the Scots second-bottom of Group A.

But Berra believes the players should shoulder the responsibility for not snuffing out the threat of a Wales side who snatched victory thanks to a late double from Gareth Bale.

Under fire: Craig Levein's Scotland side lost 2-1 to Wales, despite being 1-0 up for much of the game

Under fire: Craig Levein's Scotland side lost 2-1 to Wales, despite being 1-0 up for much of the game

Asked if the players still back Levein, the Wolves defender said: 'It's got nothing to do with the manager – we are the ones who go out on the pitch.

'We played well, we just maybe ran out of steam a bit. A penalty and a 25-yard strike lost us the game.

'At top-level football, it's the flip of a coin sometimes. We didn't have the luck.

'It's a game we should have won comfortably. Our chances came and maybe we should have killed them off.'

Hopes of booking their place in Brazil appear to be all but over for Scotland, who now need victory over favourites Belgium on Tuesday to have any real hope of salvaging their campaign.

Berra knows the odds are stacked firmly against Levein's men ahead of Tuesday's clash in Brussels but he pointed out that Scotland have risen to the occasion in the past when written off.

He said: 'We're second-bottom. It's not a great position to be in.

'But we will look over the game and we will go to Belgium on Monday and prepare for the game on Tuesday.

'They are a top team, with world-class players, but we have done it before. We did in France.
“When we're down, we always seem to bounce back.

Another go: Charlie Adam and his Scotland team-mates were in Cardiff on Sunday preparing for their trip to Belgium

Another go: Charlie Adam and his Scotland team-mates were in Cardiff on Sunday preparing for their trip to Belgium

Another go: Charlie Adam and his Scotland team-mates were in Cardiff on Sunday preparing for their trip to Belgium

Another go: Charlie Adam and his Scotland team-mates were in Cardiff on Sunday preparing for their trip to Belgium

'We didn't play badly against Wales. Lady Luck just didn't go our way.

'Footballers are thick-skinned. At club level as well, you get beat in one game, you've got to move on.

'We are disappointed now but you can't dwell on the past.'

Scotland took the lead against the Welsh courtesy of a James Morrison first-half opener, before seeing what appeared to be a perfectly good Steven Fletcher goal disallowed with 15 minutes to go.

Bale then hauled the home side back into the match when he won and converted a penalty, before grabbing a superb winner in the final minute.

Berra said: 'We don't know how we got beat, really.

'We played well in the first half, we passed the ball well and scored a route-one goal and had a couple of chances.

'They had more of the ball in the second half but they weren't cutting us open.

'It's a strange feeling. It was a comfortable game, we were winning 1-0. They had a lot of the ball in the second half but we weren't under much pressure. It's disappointing.'

Costly: Shaun Maloney gave away the penalty which allowed Wales a route back into the game

Costly: Shaun Maloney gave away the penalty which allowed Wales a route back into the game

Berra admits the Scots should have dealt with the threat of star man Bale better late on.

He added: 'He's a world-class player. I don't know if the first goal was a penalty or not.

'For the second goal, too many of us switched off and you can't give that kind of player 10, 15 yards to run into and have a pop at goal.

'On another day, he might have hit it over the bar. But he's got the ability and he put it into the top corner.

'It was bitterly disappointing for us. We should have won the game.'

Berra paid tribute to the Tartan Army who travelled to Wales in their numbers only to leave the Cardiff City Stadium in stunned silence.

He said: 'They were great, they backed us all the way. We are just as shell-shocked as them.

'We are disappointed we didn't win the game but the fans backed us 100 per cent and we can only thank them for that.'

Welcome back: Steven Fletcher returned to the Scotland squad, but was unable to lift his side to a victory

Welcome back: Steven Fletcher returned to the Scotland squad, but was unable to lift his side to a victory

England lose to Spain in Gold Coast Sevens

England suffer painful defeat to Spain in Australia's Gold Coast Sevens

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UPDATED:

11:24 GMT, 14 October 2012

England were beaten finalists in the Bowl competition of the Gold Coast Sevens, going down 19-14 in sudden-death extra-time to Spain in Australia.

Ben Ryan's team overcame Scotland 35-7 in the Bowl quarter-finals, having missed out on a place in the last eight of the main tournament following a 19-17 pool defeat to Samoa on Saturday.

Spanish inquisition: England were beaten in the bowl final

Spanish inquisition: England were beaten in extra time of the Bowl final

Spanish inquisition: England were beaten in extra time of the Bowl final

Dan Norton scored two tries in the win over the Scots, which set up a semi-final against Canada.

England triumphed 24-19 against the North Americans after extra-time and appeared on course to win the Bowl title at 14-7 up in the second half, but Spain battled back with tries from Ignacio Martin and Matias Tudela.

Fiji won the overall title, beating New Zealand 32-14 in the final, while Wales were losing Bowl semi-finalists to Spain.

Seventh heaven: Spain celebrate a famous victory over England in Australia

Seventh heaven: Spain celebrate a famous victory over England in Australia

Seventh heaven: Spain celebrate a famous victory over England in Australia

Big winners: Fiji ran out overall victors of the competition on Australia's Gold Coast

Big winners: Fiji ran out overall victors of the competition on Australia's Gold Coast

Steven Fletcher disallowed goal v Wales – Craig Levene furious

Scotland boss Levein furious at linesman blunder for disallowed Fletcher header

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UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 13 October 2012

Scotland manager Craig Levein expressed his anger after seeing his side denied a legitimate goal in their 2-1 defeat to Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Having already provided the assist from which James Morrison put the Scots 1-0 up in the 27th minute, Steven Fletcher – back in the side for the first time in over two years – thought he had doubled their advantage in the second half when he headed in Charlie Adam's cross.

The effort was disallowed, though, with the delivery from Adam adjudged to have gone out of play – despite replays suggesting otherwise.

Disallowed: Steven Fletcher thinks he has doubled Scotland's lead

Disallowed: Steven Fletcher thinks he has doubled Scotland's lead

Gareth Bale subsequently equalised from the penalty spot in the 81st minute after it was deemed he had been fouled in the box by Shaun Maloney, and then rifled in a delightful winner with a minute of normal time remaining to leave Scotland with just two points from three games in World Cup Qualifying Group A.

Referring to the disallowed goal, Levein said: 'You can understand my frustration.

'Everybody who watches it can make up their own mind about whether it was a good or poor decision by the officials.

See for yourself: The ball clearly stays in play before Fletcher's header

See for yourself: The ball clearly stays in play before Fletcher's header

Fletcher

Fletcher

Fletcher

Fletcher

'I can only relay my feelings, and I am extremely angry about this happening to us again.

'We have been subject to a couple of really poor decisions and it has a huge effect on our chances of qualifying.'

He added: 'With 10 minutes to go I just could not see us losing the match.

'Getting the second goal was always going to be crucial, though, because a 1-0 lead can be fragile, and so it proved.

'That second goal was so important for us, and I believe the officials made a serious error with the chalked-off goal that Steven Fletcher scored. That is very hard to take.'

Fury: Craig Levein was unimpressed at the call

Fury: Craig Levein was unimpressed at the call

After they had lost their two opening Group A fixtures, Wales are now off the bottom and up to fourth, behind leaders Belgium and second-placed Croatia, who both have seven points, and Serbia, third on four points.

That will ease the heat on Dragons boss Chris Coleman, but it is only being turned up on Levein, whose fifth-placed team had already made a disappointing start to their campaign with home draws against Serbia and Macedonia – the new rock-bottom side – last month.

Asked how much pressure he felt he was under ahead of Tuesday's away clash with Belgium, Levein said: 'Any time you take to the field for an international match, the pressure is exactly the same.

'I don't want to talk about 'what if this happens' or “what if that happens”.

'The important thing now is that I do the job to the best of my ability and get the players up for Tuesday.'

Gareth Bale will keep lid on Charlie Adam feud, says Joe Allen

Allen backs Wales team-mate Bale to keep a lid on feud with Scot star Adam

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 9 October 2012

Joe Allen has promised Wales will not allow a feud between Gareth Bale and Charlie Adam to spill into their World Cup qualifying clash with Scotland.

Welshman Bale, who missed three months in 2011 after Adam’s tackle snapped his ankle ligaments, branded the Scot a ‘coward’ when they clashed again in a pre-season friendly between Tottenham and Liverpool.

Backing: Joe Allen has backed Gareth Bale to let his football go the talking when he comes up against Charlie Adam, with whom he has had a long-running spat after a couple of nasty tackles

Backing: Joe Allen has backed Gareth Bale to let his football go the talking when he comes up against Charlie Adam, with whom he has had a long-running spat after a couple of nasty tackles

Taken down: Adam has twice forced Bale off early in matches, one of which came in a friendly earlier this year

Taken down: Adam has twice forced Bale off early in matches, one of which came in a friendly earlier this year

Friday’s Group H encounter at Cardiff
City Stadium will be the first time they have faced each other since. It
will add spice to a match both countries must win to keep alive hopes
of going to Brazil 2014.

But Liverpool’s 15m signing Allen said: ‘I don’t think it will be more feisty than any other game. There is that element of rivalry, but any game at international level is approached the same way and that is purely to try to win.’

Adam, now at Stoke, has insisted he did say sorry to Bale at the time. He said: ‘I apologised to him during the game after a corner. I said to him I was sorry and thought everything was all right.

'I also apologised to the Tottenham manager at half time. Then all of a sudden I was being called a coward. That’s football and it won’t stop me tackling. I hope it is done and dusted now.’

Allen, whose arrival at Anfield forced Adam to move, believes Bale will put the matter to one side. He said: ‘Will there be any extra motivation for him Not from that point of view.

'He performs every time he goes out on a pitch and I am sure the Scots will be pretty scared about facing a player of his calibre.'

Scotland should not sack Craig Levein – Gary Caldwell

Don't sack him! Caldwell sticks by Levein and blames players for Scots' woe

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UPDATED:

21:36 GMT, 12 September 2012

Gary Caldwell insists that sacking Craig Levein as manager will do nothing to change Scotland’s fortunes.

The national team were jeered from the Hampden pitch for the second time in four days following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Macedonia.

Hopes of qualification for the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014 were dented by Saturday’s scoreless draw with Serbia. Fortunate to emerge from the Macedonia game with another point, the Scots now face an uphill challenge to qualify.

Back him! Gary Caldwell (left) dismissed claims Craig Levein should go

Back him! Gary Caldwell (left) dismissed claims Craig Levein should go

A defiant Levein maintains he is ‘very positive’ over his side’s prospects.His record in competitive games now worse than Berti Vogts or George Burley, however, the Fifer will enter next month’s games in Wales and Belgium fighting for his job, despite the backing of Caldwell.

Quizzed on whether Levein’s job is now in the balance, the Wigan captain admitted the players have to take their share of the flak, saying: ‘I don’t even think you should be asking that question, to be honest.

‘If you change the manager, nothing else is going to change.

‘We’re going in the right direction but we need everyone pulling in the right direction and at this moment in time there are too many people pulling in different ways and trying to cause disruption.

‘The whole country has to be positive. I think we’re a better team than we were two years ago but, to prove it, we’ve got to win games — and big games.

‘We haven’t done that and that’s down to the players. We are the ones who haven’t performed in the last two matches so we need to look at ourselves and try to be better.’

Blow: Scotland failed to win either of the opening qualifying matches

Blow: Scotland failed to win either of the opening qualifying matches

Against a Macedonian team ranked 97th in the FIFA World rankings the Scots — with Caldwell in a midfield holding role — struggled to contain Napoli playmaker Goran Pandev.

The visitors scored an opening goal which looked offside, but could have scored more had it not been for the excellence of goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

‘Craig was disappointed afterwards because he wanted to win as much as anyone,’ added Caldwell.

‘He knows we can play better and he said that so it’s time to regroup.

‘We don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t know yet whether or not this will be two good points but there are eight games left and we still believe we can win every one of them.

‘Obviously, we haven’t yet shown that and we accept that. Whoever gets the strip in the remaining games, we need to be better and believe in ourselves.’

Macedonia’s players, meanwhile, have
admitted surprise at how little they were tested by a dismal Scotland at
Hampden. The Balkan nation dominated the scoring chances in Glasgow and
were unlucky not to take all three points.

Not in the script: Macedonia took an early lead against Scotland at Hampden

Not in the script: Macedonia took an early lead against Scotland at Hampden

'We watched Scotland’s game against Serbia and their team was very upbeat and good at pressing the ball,’ said full-back Daniel Georgievski.

‘Their work ethic in that game was great, with lots of running. But there was little of that against us. We dominated the game and deserved three points.

‘I expected more from Scotland. They were better against Serbia.’

Striker Mirko Ivanovski admitted his poor finish had cost Macedonia a famous victory.

Put in on goal by the outstanding Pandev during the second half, Ivanovksi mis-hit his shot at McGregor.

‘I wanted to lob the ball because I saw the goalkeeper going to ground, but I didn’t make the right connection and hit it with my heel instead,’ he said. ‘That made it an easy save for the goalkeeper.

‘When you play a game alongside a player of Pandev’s quality then you are sure to get a 100 per cent chance in a match. But you have to take it. I didn’t and we lost the points.

‘Pandev is in a class of his own but we have to make the most of what he brings to the team. People can say we deserved to take three points away from Glasgow, and something against Croatia, but the only thing that really matters is the total on the group table.’

Craig Levein: Scotland are not out of race to Brazil

Levein rubbishes suggestion Scotland are already struggling to reach Brazil

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UPDATED:

15:04 GMT, 10 September 2012

Craig Levein has described as 'nonsense' the notion that Scotland's 2014 World Cup qualification hopes are up for debate after one Group A game.

The consensus following Saturday's goalless draw against Serbia at Hampden was that while the result was not fatal, a hefty blow had been dealt to the Scots' hopes of reaching Brazil.

Consequently, pressure has been heaped on the Scotland boss ahead of Tuesday night's visit of Macedonia in a fixture widely believed to offer a another good chance to rack up three points.

Confident: Craig Levein believes Scotland have what it takes to qualify

Confident: Craig Levein believes Scotland have what it takes to qualify

However, Levein, who has called Craig Samson into his squad following concerns over No 1 keeper Allan McGregor and back-up Matt Gilks, moved to quash any suggestions that it is already win-or-bust for his side.

'It is nonsense to be talking about qualification or non-qualification just now,' he said.

'We still have 27 points to play for.

'We are very positive about what we are doing just now.

'It is interesting, if we win and other results go our way we could be top of the group and all of a sudden the point becomes important and who knows, come the end of the tournament it might be the one that makes all the difference.

'Maybe some people don't understand the quality of teams we are playing against.

'We did a lot of work on Serbia, we looked at their strengths and weaknesses and we knew we were in for a tough game on Saturday.

'Tonight, we will look at Macedonia and analyse how they play.

'We have to give them respect, if you look at their recent results they have performed exceptionally well and should have got a point against Croatia the other night.

Should have gone to Specsavers: Levein's glasses were called into question

Should have gone to Specsavers: Levein's glasses were called into question

'We have had our own troubles with Macedonia in the past so this will be a tough match for us, a different type of game but I am looking forward to it.

'We have players who didn't hit peak form at the weekend and they are determined to put that right on Tuesday night.'

Levein, speaking at Scotland's Mar Hall training base on the outskirts of Glasgow, joked about the less than complimentary reaction in the media to the new tinted glasses he was wearing in the technical area at the weekend, saying: 'More than anything else, what has really annoyed me in the last couple of days has been self-acclaimed experts – I mean what do they know about glasses'

However, the former Hearts and Dundee United boss was serious when flagging up the media negativity following Saturday's result.

'I have been a little bit annoyed at the hysterical reaction,' he said.

'We have played one game and we can go top of the group tomorrow night if things go our way.

'I was reasonably pleased with Saturday. What is important to me is that there is an overwhelming feeling of positivity about our national team.

Missed chance: Scotland striker Kenny Miller fluffed his lines against Serbia

Missed chance: Scotland striker Kenny Miller fluffed his lines against Serbia

'Going on to that pitch and having the whole stadium behind you, everyone in the press behind you and everyone is contributing towards us going to Brazil, I think that is really important.

'If the press, players and supporters are all working together to help us qualify then it is so much easier.'

Levein claimed that he had not yet settled on a team for Tuesday and hinted that he will resist the clamour to hand a start to Jordan Rhodes.

The Tartan Army were calling for the 22-year-old Blackburn forward to come on long before he eventually replaced Kenny Miller with around 10 minutes remaining.

Levein admitted that he could understand the frustration of the fans but appeared to dampen down any expectation that Rhodes, who earned his 8million move to Ewood Park after a 40-goal season for Huddersfield last season, will lead the line.

'Jordan Rhodes, in time, will be a fantastic striker for Scotland, he will be a hugely valuable player for us,' he said.

Close: Steven Naismith (right) had Scotland's best chance at Hampden

Close: Steven Naismith (right) had Scotland's best chance at Hampden

'But my job is to try to pick the best team for every situation and you have to understand, while Jordan scored a lot of goals in League One, he hasn't even really begun his career in the Championship in England.

'I have guys here who are Premiership players, who are experienced and have been involved in these types of occasions before.

'So I have to have some degree of calmness in this and not get caught up in everything.'

Levein assessed his three injury doubts and confirmed St Mirren keeper Samson had joined up with the squad.

He said: 'Charlie Adam has a wee problem, Matt Gilks picked up a problem in training yesterday and Allan McGregor has the same thing (groin complaint) but nowhere near as bad as he was. I am hopeful that all three will make it.'

Asked if the Besiktas keeper would require an injection to play, Levein said: 'I don't think so and I don't think it is something that we would do, that's more for his club to undertake.'

Kenny Miller embarrassed by Scotland defeat

That hurt! Miller declares Scots were an 'embarrassment'
after humiliating USA thrashing

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 27 May 2012

Kenny Miller admitted Scotland’s 5-1 thrashing to the United States was an ‘embarrassment’ after the national team crashed to their heaviest defeat under Craig Levein.

The skipper cut a crestfallen figure after emerging from a draining 90 minutes and confessed that Levein’s men were second best throughout the friendly.

Two goals down in 12 minutes, Miller’s downward header was knocked into the net by American defender Geoff Cameron to offer a shaft of hope.

Agony: Kenny Miller was embarrassed by Scotland's defeat to the USA

Agony: Kenny Miller was embarrassed by Scotland's defeat to the USA

As Landon Donovan claimed his hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining, however, the Scots suffered a dismal end to the season in the blistering heat of the EverBank Field in Jacksonville

‘Of course it hurts. It’s an embarrassment, to be honest,’ said Cardiff City striker Miller. ‘If you lose 5-1 at any level of football, there’s an element of embarrassment.

‘We were trying to stem the flow in the first half and got a goal back. At 2-1 we were fortunate but the goals we lost in the second half were terrible.
‘It is a friendly but we’re still disappointed. We have made progress with performances in recent times, but this is a hard one and it still hurts.’

Glimmer of hope: Miller celebrates after scoring with the help of a deflection

Glimmer of hope: Miller celebrates after scoring with the help of a deflection

Admitting the result offered a wake-up call before Serbia visit Glasgow in the opening qualifier of the forthcoming World Cup campaign in September, Miller promised there would be a review of what went wrong.

‘Everyone is proud to be here and disappointed with the result,’ he said. ‘It won’t be brushed off and we will look at this and make sure the openness that was evident in our play in the second half doesn’t get repeated.

‘We’ve played Italy, France and Spain in recent times and have not been carved open like that. It shouldn’t happen with us against any nation.’

The result turns up the heat on Levein ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, for which this match had been billed as a dress rehearsal. Lamenting the loss of several key players for the match, he admitted his team had not been as focused as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.

Inquest: Questions are asked between Gary Caldwell and Steven Whittaker

Inquest: Questions are asked between Gary Caldwell and Steven Whittaker

And he sought to reassure Tartan Army followers — worried that the players had looked to be in end-of-season holiday mode in Florida — that his team will improve on their next friendly outing, against Australia at Easter Road in August, before the qualifiers begin in earnest the following month.

‘I think focus is the most important word,’ said Levein. ‘We weren’t as focused as the USA. Our team have been excellent recently, with some great results, and it was most unlike them.

‘With it being the end of the season, the players were tired. It was evident there was only one team who were focused.’