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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 23:22 GMT
Vogts laments early errors
Clinton Morrison challenges Christian Dailly
The Irish eased their way to victory at Hampden

Manager Berti Vogts was left rueing his side's frustrating habit of conceding early goals, as he watched Scotland slump to yet another defeat.

Two goals inside the opening 16 minutes, from Kevin Kilbane and Clinton Morrison, gave the Republic of Ireland a comfortable win at Hampden and made it seven defeats out of 10 during Vogts' reign.

The German has now been in charge of Scotland for a year and he has already seen his side embarrassed by the loss of early soft goals in the Faroe Islands and Portugal.

However, Vogts insisted an improved second-half performance gave him real hope that there will be no similar slip-ups when Iceland visit the national stadium next month for a vital Euro 2004 qualifier.

"After 16 minutes we had made two mistakes," said Vogts.

"The first goal was a mistake and the second too and after that the game was over.

"The Republic of Ireland are a strong team and played like they were the home team with a lot of confidence and a lot of experience.

"They played in the World Cup and we are number 60 in the world rankings so it was not easy but we didn't play very well, especially in the first half."

Scotland enjoyed the bulk of possession after the break, with substitute Paul Devlin showing up well and Vogts was pleased with the Birmingham man's contribution.

Paul Devlin is challenged by Ian Harte
Paul Devlin shone for Scotland
He said: "In the second half it was okay. We changed the system a little bit and Paul Devlin did a good job."

Vogts had also taken off goalkeeper Neil Sullivan after the Tottenham man had been at fault for the second goal when he punched only as far as Morrison on the edge of the area.

Paul Gallacher replaced him at half time, but Vogts refused to blame his former first choice pick, who now seems to have little chance of playing in the Iceland game and is second choice at Spurs too.

"Paul Gallacher looked a little bit more confident. That is a problem with the goalies, they need a lot of practice," he said.

"I don't blame Neil. All together we lost the game. Neil is a good goalie and it was not his fault we lost the game.

"We didn't do enough and we will have to do more on the 29 March when we play Iceland."

The German also insisted there had been other plus points from a very disappointing night that saw the Scots struggle to find any attacking ryhthm.

He said: "I saw Don (Hutchison) for 45 minutes and in the second half we played with two players on the wing and it was a little bit better."

Scotland coach Berti Vogts
"We made two mistakes and it led to two goals"
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