Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 00:03 GMT
We've a long way to go - Keegan
Scotland outplayed England and deserved extra-time at least
England manager Kevin Keegan refused to criticise his players after his side scraped their way into the last 16 of the European Championships despite a depressing home defeat.
Keegan's side narrowly beat Scotland to the last place among the 16 Euro 2000 finalists by virtue of an aggregate 2-1 victory set up by their 2-0 first-leg victory at Hamdpen Park.
"Scotland gave us a bit of a pummelling. They came here with nothing to lose and Craig Brown has taken my unbeaten record off me.
Keegan: Don't write us off
"But I will live with that for the chance to play on the bigger stage."
Keegan urged the public not to dismiss his side's chances at next summer's finals as a result of his first defeat as manager.
"We have become a nation that expects the world from our footballers and when we don't, we get slaughtered.
"But that resolve and willingness to get better are still qualities. They are not enough to win Euro 2000. We have got to find a bit to do that.
"But we can only find it if we are there and we are. So don't give up and don't write us off."
Keegan declined to criticise his players and insisted his squad had great character despite their seemingly weak-spirited performance.
"A few of the guys stood up and were counted but four or five of them didn't play as I know they can.
"But I can't emphasise enough that there is a lot of character in this squad.
"We've got six or seven captains. It's been difficult trying to qualify and experiment at the same time.
"Now we have room to do that and it's my plan to work on the left side of the team. That's the most important area that we need to work on."