‘Maybe 10-0 is not going to be good enough’: James McFadden knows a big victory over San Marino might not be enough to silence Scotland doubters
- Alex McLeish’s side got off to the worst possible start in the Euro 2020 qualifiers
- Thenature of the defeat means the team already face an impossible-looking task
- Scotland coach McFadden knows they need a big victory against San Marino
James McFadden knows Scotland are on a hiding to nothing against San Marino – and admits not even a 10-goal victory would be enough to disperse the negativity surrounding the national team.
Alex McLeish’s side got off to the worst possible start in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, slumping to a 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan on Thursday night.
The margin and nature of the defeat means the team already faces an impossible-looking task to qualify from a section including World Cup semi-finalists Belgium.
James McFadden knows Scotland are on a hiding to nothing against San Marino
And Scotland coach McFadden knows a handsome victory against the Sammarinese is a necessity to claw back some respectability.
‘We know 1-0 is not going to be good enough,’ said the former Everton forward. ‘For some people, maybe 10-0 is not going to be good enough.
‘We know that but it is important the players are focused on the game. They don’t have to worry about anything else, all the rubbish that comes with it.
‘They have to make sure they are ready for it mentally and go and attack the game.
‘We need to show we are better than Thursday and I think we will. I am always confident.
‘It is going to be tough because of how they sit in but we are going to have to find a way to deal with that, to break them down.
‘We have watched footage of their game in Cyprus the other night. They lost 5-0, so the pressure is there anyway.’ Appointed alongside Peter Grant to support McLeish during his second stint as national boss, McFadden remains loyal to the man he played under both for his country and at Birmingham City.
Kazakhstan turned on the style at home as they hit Scotland for three on a nightmare night
There has been a loud clamour for the manager to be sacked in the wake of the Kazakhstan debacle, but McFadden is expecting the 60-year-old to bounce back.
He added: ‘I know what he is like – he is strong and resilient. Even before I knew there was any chance of working with him I said he was the right man for the job.
‘That hasn’t changed. He has been in management a long time, enjoyed many highs, suffered many lows and he has dealt with it every time.
‘There are always going to be detractors. There are people who didn’t want him in the job in the first place, just waiting for nights like Thursday.
‘I have full belief in him which is why I was delighted to join his staff and try and help the country get to a major finals.
‘If you lose any game, it does hurt you. But he knows how to deal with that..’ Most recently, McLeish managed to recover after a miserable Nations League defeat to Israel in Haifa last October by winning the section’s last two fixtures to qualify for the play-offs.
‘When we lost that game in Israel it seemed like it was the end of the world,’ added McFadden. ‘It meant we had to win the next two games and we did that. That shows we are capable of bouncing back and it shows that the players can cope with it too.’