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‘WE NEED TO BE BRAVE,’ ROBBO

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ANDY ROBERTSON has revealed Scotland’s players held their own crisis summit following the 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying flop against Russia on Friday night.

The squad had clear-the-air talks before tonight’s crucial tie against Belgium at Hampden where a third successive defeat will end the remote chances of getting to next summer’s finals through the group stages.

Skipper Robertson, who claimed he had been “annoyed by everything”, as Scotzine reported, in the loss against the Russians after the Scots threw away the advantage of a 10th-minute strike from John McGinn.

Liverpool’s Champions League-winning left-back, speaking to the Daily Mail, said: “We needed time to get over what happened on Friday night and I think Saturday allowed us to do that.

“We were able to talk to each other. It wasn’t picking anyone out or anything like that. It was just people being honest. We’re not a team who are going to paper over the cracks and say we played well, but that Russia were better.

INTERNATIONAL TALK-IN…Andy Robertson speaks to the media.

“We know we didn’t play well.

“Too many of us didn’t quite do what we expect from ourselves, first and foremost.

“We need to start believing that our individual qualities can become a team quality because, just now unfortunately, we are not quite doing that.

“I’ve not seen us playing the ball back to a goalkeeper as much as we did since I starting playing for Scotland. Other options were on, but we never took them.

“We were maybe second-guessing ourselves and you’re never going to win a game of football when you are taking an extra touch, thinking about making a pass and hesitating and finding the pass is no longer on.

“Half the battle of international football is bringing all your qualities together — and right now we are struggling to do that.

“We need to believe in each other and we need to believe in the team and that the structure we have is right for us.

“We know it is, but it’s about showing it.”

PREPARING FOR SHOWDOWN…Scots players go through their paces ahead of tonight’s match against Belgium.

Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side have topped the FIFA world rankings for over a year now and won 4-0 in Glasgow 12 months ago in a friendly. They also thrashed Steve Clarke’s men 3-0 in Brussels in June.

Robertson added: “We know how tough it is going to be, but stranger things have happened in football.

“We will need to bring our A game and maybe Belgium need to be below par — but these things can happen.

“We will need to be composed because it’s no secret we’re probably not going to have a lot of the ball.

“Belgium are a team who like to dominate possession, so when we do get the ball, we really need to do out best to keep it.

“That’s the time when we can hurt Belgium and get a breather in defence.

“If the ball keeps coming back to us, Belgium have world-class players who will hurt us.

“So, we need to be brave and put in a brave performance.”

* SCOTZINE has had a new look as the magazine is determined to deliver the up-to-date news, comments, opinions and features Scottish football fans deserve. That’s our promise. Thank you for your support.

 

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Editor

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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