SCOTLAND boss Alex McLeish has admitted his international rookies took stage fright in their 1-0 loss to Costa Rica at Hampden on Friday night.

And the returning gaffer insisted they need to match the standards displayed by his two second-half Celtic substitutes, Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor.

McLeish started without a player from the champions in his second homecoming as Scots boss against the Central Americans.

The only player representing the Parkhead outfit at kick-off was Costa Rican right-back Cristian Gamboa.

Big Eck accepted the introduction of McGregor and Armstrong just before the hour mark raised the level of play.

He said: “It was a mixed bag on Friday, we started too slowly, despite the war cry of high tempo and pressing. They got a bit

of stage fright.

“The second-half was good. We should have finished with at least a draw.

“And the subs made an instant impact. Stuart and Callum play together which shows.

“The Celtic players have been instrumental in Scotland’s fortunes over the past few months.

“You know what you’re going to get from them – it’s up to others to reach that standard.”

Jack Hendry, who was signed by Brendan Rodgers from Dundee in January, is expected to make his debut against Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday.

Grant Hanley is likely to stand down while wingers James Forrest and Ryan Fraser could get the nod to start.

Read more Scottish football news from Scotzine …


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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