BBC Sport scotland

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Sunday, 10 October 2010 12:30 UK

Kenny Miller will bounce back for Scots - Lee McCulloch

Scotland striker Kenny Miller
Miller was dropped to the bench by Craig Levein in Prague

By Clive Lindsay

Angry striker Kenny Miller will take being dropped to the Scotland bench in his stride, according to Rangers team-mate Lee McCulloch.

Miller was annoyed at being sacrificed as coach Craig Levein adopted an ultra-defensive formation in Friday's 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic.

"Kenny will be alright. He is a big boy," McCulloch told BBC Scotland.

"He'll take whatever is thrown his way on the chin and will bounce back and do the business like he has always done."

Levein adopted a system without an out-and-out striker as the Scots attempted - and ultimately failed - to frustrate the Czechs in their Group I qualifier.

Miller, who has scored 10 goals for Rangers this season and hit the net in Scotland's previous qualifier against Liechtenstein, had to be content with a late appearance as a substitute.

Playing Spain will require a different outlook, a different type of game where we have to try to attack

Scotland assistant manager Peter Houston

But McCulloch said: "He is only a player that's got dropped. It is not as if it is anything more than that.

"He is disappointed, just like every other player that is asked to go on the bench or in the stand is, and there's more players than Kenny Miller that were left out. There were people up in the stand.

"Everybody is saying Kenny is an in-form striker, which he is, but the manager just felt that maybe going down a different route was the way to go."

Levein's system in Prague has come in for much criticism among fans, pundits and the media, but McCulloch thought it was the goal conceded that would be the main concern.

"A lot's getting made of the formation, but it doesn't really matter what formation you play, it is a set-piece where we have lost the goal," he said.

"I think that will be the thing that Craig Levein will be most disappointed about anyway, because he has set the team out and they were looking pretty solid at times and the set-piece has killed us."

McCulloch did not think that the players would have been confused by the new formation.

"Every professional footballer should know the game inside out and there was a lot of experience in that team," he said.

"When you look at the experience of the Premiership players and Old Firm players on show, I don't think the formation was a problem to the players at all."

McCulloch stressed that defeat in Prague did not end Scotland's hopes of qualifying for the finals.

"We could have been doing with at least a point, but there is no point in being downbeat," he said.

"Even if we get nothing from Spain, I don't think it is over. We have winnable games at Hampden and Liechtenstein away, we are sitting second in the group."

Scotland assistant Peter Houston also dismissed criticism of Levein's tactics.

"The only regret we've got is that we've lost the game," he said. "It's over and done with now, we can't look back, we've got to look forward and what a way to look forward - playing Spain at Hampden.

"We've got to put that to bed and start to think positively and take something from that match.

"Playing Spain will require a different outlook, a different type of game where we have to try to attack.

"We tried to attack but in a different way in the Czech Republic and played some good stuff and did okay."

see also
Cazorla on guard against Scotland
10 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Spain ready for negative Scotland
11 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scotland 2-3 Spain
12 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Bednar surprise at Scots line-up
10 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scots still on course - Caldwell
09 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Levein's Scots fail to impress
09 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Prague pundits' reaction
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Bilek lauds winning Czech players
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Levein defends system in defeat
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland
08 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Bardsley proud Scot after U-turn
06 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Caldwell keen to aid Scots' cause
04 Oct 10 |  Scotland
Scots call on Gordon and Caldwell
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Mackie proud of Scotland call-up
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Xavi to miss Spain's Glasgow trip
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites