Scotland Not Good Enough Yet
Craig Burley, who experienced playing in a World Cup (France 1998) the last time Scotland qualified for a major tournament, is not sure Scotland stand much chance of reaching the finals of EURO2012. He was in Stockholm on Wednesday and saw at first hand the lesson handed out by Sweden to Craig Levein's under-strength team as they lost 3-0. The game was the last time Levein would have his players together for a game before Scotland's EURO2012 qualifiers begin next month with a double-header against Lithuania and Liechtenstein. Burley believes Levein has his work cut out getting his side to the finals in Ukraine and Poland.
He said: "It (the result) wasn't unsurprising. There is no point leading people up the garden path. It is clear for all to see. We haven't been hard to beat for a couple of seasons, we need to get back to that and back to basics. There were one or two new faces and it was a steep learning curve for the team. The big worry is the concession of simple goals and if you make those sort of mistakes then you won't qualify. That's what's been happening and I would hate for that to continue under Craig Levein, who I tipped to get the job. But it's a job you take at your peril and it can make or break you as a manager. I pray that Scotland get off to a good start and pitch for second place and the play-offs. Spain will win the group in a canter. They won the World Cup and they weren't at their best. We are better than Lithuania and Liechtenstein and although the Czech Republic are a bit more difficult, they are beatable. But it's about time the more experienced players in the Scotland squad lent a hand. When I came into the Scotland team there were players like Gary McAllister, Ally McCoist and Andy Goram, experienced players who helped me. That's not happening just now."
Ger Harley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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