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Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:15 UK

Scotland future is bright, says Peter Houston

Future bright for Scotland - Houston

Assistant manager Peter Houston believes Scotland are making progress, despite taking nothing from the double-header with Czech Republic and Spain.

A dour 1-0 loss in Prague was followed by a thrilling 3-2 defeat to the World Cup winners at Hampden.

And Houston said: "I just think the future of the Scottish national team is the brightest it's been for years.

"We all stick together. The team, the management and backroom staff all believe in what we're doing."

Manager Craig Levein came in for sharp criticism following his ultra-defensive approach to Friday's defeat against the Czechs.

However, a few days later the Scots turned in a rousing display to draw level with Spain after trailing 2-0, only to be undone by a late goal.


Houston refused to be drawn on the subject of Levein's tactical approach but was fulsome in his praise of the players who were involved in both games.

"It was a great performance but there was huge disappointment afterwards because we didn't take anything," he said of the match in Glasgow.

"Over both games the players were fantastic. Their attitude and commitment to the cause was fantastic.

"I think we can take great credit and great heart from the fact we ran the world champions, one of the best teams I've ever seen, very close and almost got a result."

During a ten minute period after falling two behind, Scotland, backed by a noisy Hampden Park, rallied superbly to level thanks to a Steven Naismith header and an own-goal from Gerard Pique.

Steven Naismith was on target against Spain
Naismith was on target against Spain

However, the chance of earning an improbable point was lost when a defensive lapse from Stephen McManus allowed Fernando Llorente to tap in the winner on 79 minutes.

"When you've got guys like (Graham) Dorrans, (James) Morrison and (Darren) Fletcher in the team, they are always going to give you quality," added the Dundee United boss.

"And is there a better passer in the Spain team than Charlie Adam when he's zinging the ball all over the park? I don't think so.

"With guys like Naismith and (Jamie) Mackie coming into the fold, we have nucleus of players at a good age in the squad.

"When you ally that with the experience of David Weir and Stephen McManus, who I thought were magnificent, I think the future is bright for the international team.

"The sooner people realise that the better."

Scotland must wait 11 months for their next Euro 2012 qualifier - a must-win encounter with the Czechs - but there will be opportunities for Levein and Houston to fine tune the team before then.

"We've hopefully got a B international in November," revealed Houston. "And we've got these Home International things in Dublin at the turn of the year (the Nations Cup in February).

"These guys will get more international experience and there might be one or two more coming in for the B international."

see also
Scots can build on Spain pain
13 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Spain praise for Scottish spirit
13 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Levein 'sick' after Scotland loss
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scotland 2-3 Spain
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scotland v Spain as it happened
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scotland v Spain photo gallery
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland

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