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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 22:21 GMT
Vogts laments Scots defence
Paul Ritchie trudges off the pitch in Cardiff
Scotland manager Berti Vogts blamed a lack of defensive understanding as his side were given a 4-0 hammering by a second-string Welsh side in Cardiff.

The shambolic Scots were all at sea as Robert Earnshaw claimed a hat-trick and Gareth Taylor knocked in another.

"I am very disappointed," Vogts told BBC Sport. "We gave away goals too easily and the first two killed us.

"We played quite well up front but our defending was very badly organised and confidence was low after a bad start."

Earnshaw's opening goal came inside the first minute and set the tone for a woeful night for the visitors.

"When you give away a goal so early, you're always up against it away from home," Scotland assistant Tommy Burns added.

"We played some good stuff but gave away bad goals."

With some experienced players missing through injury, Vogts used the match to assess the suitability of others.

At 2-0 the confidence was gone and that was a problem
Berti Vogts
But there were few success stories for the battered boys in blue.

Paul Ritchie, returning to the Scotland side for the first time in almost four years, had a game to forget in the centre of defence.

The Walsall player gifted Wales possession in the build-up to the first goal, failed to cut out the cross that led to the second and was easily bypassed for goals three and four.

His defensive partner Stephen Caldwell also looked unsure when faced with the clever movement of the Welsh frontmen.

"Paul Ritchie has been playing very well this season and Stevie Caldwell has done well in the Future Team but this is a big step up," conceded Vogts.

"They had not played together before but what can I do? Steven Pressley and Lee Wilkie are injured."

Goalkeeper Robert Douglas was given little protection from a fragile rearguard but will be embarrassed at letting Taylor's tame shot go under him.

Darren Fletcher in action
Darren Fletcher put in a good shift for Scotland
Skipper Christian Dailly was asked to play a holding role in midfield and looked uncomfortable away from his customary role in the heart of defence.

Colin Cameron was also ineffectual in the middle of the park as Robbie Savage and Gary Speed ran the show for the home side.

"We missed our organisers - Steven Pressley and Barry Ferguson," Vogts continued.

"At 2-0 the confidence was gone and that was a problem."

Manchester United youngster Darren Fletcher made a useful contribution from midfield, while Kenny Miller and Paul Dickov displayed some nice touches and were full of running up front but could not get a break in front of goal.

Scotland have played 13 friendly internationals under Vogts and won just twice - against Canada and a Hong Kong XI.

Vogts will continue to try and mould a side capable of qualifying for World Cup 2006 when Romania visit Tynecastle on 31 March.

"We have maybe 10 or 11 first class player," said a dejected Vogts. "And we must search for others to join them in these friendly matches."





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