Scotland boss Craig Levein defends system in defeat
Levein defends Scotland system
Craig Levein insists he was happy with his controversial formation despite Scotland's 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic in their Euro 2012 qualifier.
"I was happy with it," said the coach about a formation in Prague that did not include an out-and-out striker.
"I picked a system that I thought was working very well.
"We lost a goal to a set-piece, but I can't fault the lads for what we did tonight. We restricted them for the majority of the game."
Roman Hubnik scored the only goal with a close-range header in the 70th minute, but it was a game that rarely featured Scotland as an attacking force.
Levein had played without an out-and-out striker, leaving an in-form Kenny Miller frustrated and apparently angry on the bench.
Asked what he would say to those who will say he should have used a different system, the Scotland boss sarcastically told BBC Scotland: "Yes, and that different system always results in a victory doesn't it?
We have a game on Tuesday and it gives us a chance to bounce back from this defeat
Scotland coach Craig Levein
"The whole game plan wasn't to lose a goal and, when we lose a goal, it all changes, of course.
"We lost a goal to a set-piece, which generally we are good at defending, but I think we had some pretty good performances out there.
"A lot of hard work went into the performance tonight and I can't fault them."
Scotland now have four points from three games ahead of the match against world champions Spain at Hampden on Tuesday night.
"We have a game on Tuesday and it gives us a chance to bounce back from this defeat," said Levein.
"I made it pretty clear that I picked a system to play against the Czech Republic and it will be a different system on Tuesday night.
"It's not disastrous. The Czech Republic have still to come to play at Hampden and, if we win that game, it evens it up over the two matches.
"It's not a fatal blow by any stretch of the imagination. We are still in it, we will keep working as hard as we did this evening and we will do our best to improve for Tuesday and the games that are still to come."
Naismith regrets set-piece goal
Scotland forward Steven Naismith denied any suggestions of unrest among the players over Levein's formation.
"The manager is very thorough in what he does," he said. "He does a lot of homework on the other teams and every player is right behind. He has a good spirit in the team.
"We are all professional footballers and we can adapt. We all play different systems with our clubs and everybody knew their roles and had worked hard on it all week.
"We perhaps did not make the best of the opportunities that came our way."
Naismith thought the Scots still had a chance of qualifying for the finals in Poland and Ukraine despite the defeat.
"It is very disappointing," he added. "The biggest thing we are disappointed with is that it was a set play. They have not carved us open.
"The Czech Republic have quality players who can cut you open, but it was a set-piece got through us."
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