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Page last updated at 21:58 GMT, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 22:58 UK

Scots 'could have matched England', says Craig Brown

Scotland coach Craig Levein
Levein was appointed Scotland coach after the failure to qualify for the finals

Craig Brown thinks Scotland would have progressed at least as far as England at the World Cup if they had qualified for the finals this summer.

"Having seen the England games, I genuinely believe that," said the Motherwell manager.

"Had Scotland been there, we would have done at least as well with the team we have at the moment and the manager we have, Craig Levein."

Brown was the last manager to take the Scots to a major finals.

Scotland finished third behind Netherlands, who have reached the quarter-finals in South Africa, and Norway in their qualifying group under previous manager George Burley.

Meanwhile, Brown says England's failure to at least qualify for the quarter-final stage was more down to boredom and depression - and ultimately not having an Englishman at the helm - rather than a lack of quality.

I genuinely think the coach of the national team should have the same nationality as the players

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown

"England under-achieved with the quality of players they've got," he said. "The reasons for that are difficult to determine.

"I was working for Al-Jazeera in Qatar and the staff there were all very close to the England camp - guys like David Platt, Tim Sherwood, Ray Wilkins, Sam Allardyce and Trevor Francis - and I think the players were quite constrained.

"They were put in the rooms in the afternoon to watch television or to have a rest, which is an Italian method of operating. They were in single rooms and I think they were a bit bored and depressed.

"It's not a magic formula to say pair them in rooms and give them some free time in the afternoon - that's too simple.

"But I worked with Alex Ferguson in Mexico at the World Cup and Alex was at pains to ensure there was good camaraderie and activities for the players."

Scotland's experiment with a foreign coach - the German, Berti Vogts - was deemed a failure and Brown thinks every nation should stick to home-grown talent.

"There is a different psyche between an Italian player and an English player," he said.

England coach Fabio Capello
Capello's future is uncertain as England coach after the World Cup exit

"I genuinely think the coach of the national team should have the same nationality as the players.

"Having said that, no-one could dispute Fabio Capello's CV. To win the title in four different countries is exceptional and he has done that.

"No-one disputes his ability, but his knowledge of the mentality of a British player is probably not as acute as it is of foreign players.

"It's an over-simplification to say that, had the manager been English and known the English mentality, they would have played better. But I think, with hindsight, that may have been the case."

However, Brown does not want to see Capello sacked when he has his scheduled meeting with the Football Association.

"I hope not because I hate to see a manager go," he said.

"I don't know Capello at all, I haven't met him, but he seems a decent guy and he is a very good football manager.

"It didn't work and I think the environment he came into is different from what he has had in the past.

"He can win with Real Madrid, he can win in Italy, so he is a top-class manager."

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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
FA joint chairman backing Capello
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Barwick baffled by dismal England
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
FA waits to make Capello decision
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Pressure on FA after England exit
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello to discuss future with FA
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England still have issues - Cole
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England were not prepared - Lahm
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Levein delighted with debut win
04 Mar 10 |  Football
Craig Levein is new Scotland boss
23 Dec 09 |  Sport

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