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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Wednesday, 25 April, 2001, 22:42 GMT 23:42 UK
New caps do the business
Barry Nicholson fitted in well at right wing-back
Barry Nicholson fitted in well at right wing-back
BBC Scotland's football pundit Gordon Smith believes Scotland's new boys did their future chances no harm with their performance against Poland.

With the number of changes Scotland made both before and during the game, I think the players come out with a lot of credit.

With a total of seven new caps on the night, it is a long time since we fielded such an experimental side.

The best thing for Craig Brown is that in future games, if these guys are involved, they will have had a bit of international experience.

There were a lot of plusses for Scotland - John O'Neil ended up having to play in at least three different positions and he did well.

Gavin Rae did a very good job in the midfield and I've no doubt he'll be involved in future squads.

Gavin Rae impressed on his debut
Gavin Rae impressed on his debut
Barry Nicholson started at wing-back and then moved back to right-back and looked as if he could fit right into that role.

We've been looking for some time for someone who can play right wing-back and Nicholson could be the answer.

Young Stephen Caldwell was played in an unfamiliar position for him, in midfield, but he adapted well.

Andy McLaren came on and did a job down the left - he might not be a long-term solution, but he's proved he can perform at this level.

Even Kenny Miller looked quite sharp when he came on and it was a shame he got injured so quickly.

Creditable result

Stevie Crawford looked excellent when he came on - he created a great chance for Scott Booth and Booth should have scored, and then he played the ball in when we won the penalty.

He's had a long wait for his second cap but he showed he is still a good player.

It was one of the stalwarts of the Scotland set-up, Tom Boyd, who impressed me most.

He was another who had to play in a variety of positions, but I thought he was outstanding.

It was a very creditable result and performance - we knew Poland had a good record recently - though I was a bit disappointed with the Poles.

But that's maybe detracting from the Scottish performance with a makeshift team - it may be a case of only playing as well as you're allowed to.

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See also:

25 Apr 01 |  Scotland
Scotland hold Poland
25 Apr 01 |  Scotland
Clockwatch: Poland 1-1 Scotland
23 Apr 01 |  Scotland
New boys must press for places
23 Apr 01 |  Scotland
Scots look to new faces
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