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Alex McLeish makes bizarre claim after one of Scotland’s lowest moments

Daily Record logoDaily Record 21/03/2019 Darren Cooney
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group I - Kazakhstan v Scotland - Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan - March 21, 2019  Scotland manager Alex McLeish reacts during the match     REUTERS/Alexei Filippov © REUTERS Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group I - Kazakhstan v Scotland - Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan - March 21, 2019 Scotland manager Alex McLeish reacts during the match REUTERS/Alexei Filippov

Scotland boss Alex McLeish watched his side lose a goal after just six minutes – then claimed they got off to a great start.

The manager branded the defeat "horrible" but refused to accept it will have a debilitating effect on the country’s chances of reaching Euro 2020.

He slammed Scotland’s defence though during a 3-0 defeat in which they were all over the place. Graeme Shinnie was at fault for the opening two goals and the legendary centre-back was furious with his backline.

But he bizarrely claimed his team enjoyed a bright opening.

McLeish said: "It was horrible. But we started off well. Oli Burke looked up for it and a couple of times Stuart Armstrong went on penetrating runs.

"Then they hit us with two blockbusters and it was really difficult. I was disappointed not to see a great reaction.

"But at half time we tried to change it. The Kazaks were first to the second balls. They looked very sharp on the night and unfortunately after a good start we didn’t get up to speed."

Asked how disappointed he was to lose the goals, McLeish said: "This week we spoke about not leaving spaces in defence. We worked on it. There was no danger we didn’t warn them about. But unfortunately it never happened on the night.

"You can only impart your experience to the players and we brought the rugby team into it. We used their reaction last week at Twickenham as an example.

"You’ve got to roll your sleeves up. But unfortunately the Kazaks were a team on fire.

"It was an extremely important game. It possibly brings more pressure on me. It’s a sore one. The facts are we’ve been beaten by a team ranked lower than us so on paper we should have won."

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