IT ISN’T any consolation to Stuart Findlay that he has had worse recent experiences than the 6-1 defeat by the Netherlands on Wednesday night.
Indeed, attempting to comfort the Scotland Under-21 defender by suggesting to him that the drubbing by the Dutch wasn’t quite as bad as being part of a backline that had ten goals battered past them, feels like playing a cruel joke on him.
The fact is, though, that with the Celtic defender’s loan spell at Morton concluding with the calamitous 10-2 reverse at the hands of Hamilton Accies on the final day of the Championship league season, Findlay’s final two outings of this campaign brought a total of 16 goals for his opponents.
“I’m an 18-year-old boy and, when you go through your career you’ll suffer bad results but it’s how I recover from them. I can’t dwell on the 10-2 or a night like Wednesday as I believe I’ve had a good season,” he said. “If I dwell on it then I’m not going to learn anything from it. What happens, happens. I need to learn from it and not allow it to happen again and hopefully I can become a better player for it.
“It’s difficult but if I allow it to get to me then it will hinder me. It’s been a disappointing few weeks but the season’s over and I want to regroup. I’ll get refreshed and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s all I can do as it’s happened now.”
In Findlay’s search for any succour over his horrible end to the season, he can at least point to the fact that, in the heavy defeat by the Netherlands that ended any prospects of Billy Stark’s side reaching next year’s Under-21 European Championship finals, he and his team-mates found themselves up against players that could be immediately destined for bigger things.
And that is precisely how the intense and analytical centre-back, who has no idea if he will be going out on loan again next year with Celtic currently managerless, chooses to view the young Scots’ midweek misadventures.
“We were playing against a side of the highest quality and many of them could be going to the World Cup,” he said.
Quincy Promes – the FC Twente striker who plundered a first-half hat-trick – featured in the provisional Netherlands squad for Brazil, as did fellow starters in Paisley Karim Rekik, Tonny Vilhena and Jean-Paul Boetius. “We did miss a couple of chances early on with the score at 0-0 and things could have been different,” said Findlay. “But we were hit with the sucker blow of three top, top finishes in the first half. We always knew it would be very difficult against quality opposition.
“Look at the two boys they had in attack, one of them plays for Chelsea [Marco van Ginkel] and then there’s Luc Castaignos, who has moved for a lot of money [to Twente for £5.8m from Inter, who paid £2.5m for him from Feyenoord]. It’s such a good level we are playing at and you learn from it. We won’t be playing against guys of that quality back home so it’s great to go in against players of such pedigree.”
Well, great up to a point. Findlay, young enough to play for the Scotland Under-21s in their next campaign, isn’t interested in learning the hard way.
“I’m not looking at using these games for experience as I want to win,” he said. “Every defeat bothers me, you want results. The feeling I had when we beat Slovakia or when we gained a point against Georgia are the feelings I want to have. I don’t want the feeling of defeat.”
When they can come with the rate of a goal conceded every 12 minutes, little wonder.