SCOTLAND Under-21 skipper Stuart Armstrong insists Billy Stark’s side are on the right track despite shipping ten goals – and failing to score even once themselves – in their last two games.
Stark’s side crashed to another heavy defeat in their European Championship qualifier when they lost 4-0 in Nijmegen, which followed up a humiliating 6-0 demolition by the English last month.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story as the Scots passed up a host of chances in Holland which could have earned them at least a point.
Dundee United midfielder Armstrong – who was probably Scotland’s best performer – was among the sinners when he blew a one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper, with Tony Watt and Ryan Fraser also missing excellent chances and Celtic’s Stuart Findlay hitting a post.
The clinical Dutch punished them by cracking in four second-half goals. Stark insisted the display in the Netherlands proved the England game was a one-off freak result and Armstrong reckons Scotland can turn it around next month when they face Slovakia and Georgia in a double-header.
Armstrong said: “The Holland game was different to the England game. It wasn’t a 4-0 game. We had our chances – one myself – and a few others. We also hit the post.
“I think if they’d gone in it would have been a very different game.
“On paper it is 6-0 then 4-0, but next month we’ve got two games and if we get points from them I think we’ll turn it right back around and change the opinions of many.
“That’s the plan now. We feel we’ve still got a good team here and we showed that against a good Holland side on Thursday night. I think we’re very capable of getting points off those teams.
“It’s definitely promising that we played a lot better than the game against England. We could only have improved from that game because we were so poor that night.
“We created a number of chances, passed the ball well, we defended well. Unfortunately when good teams like Holland create chances they’re more likely to finish them and they did.
“They didn’t carve us open too much, they just finished the chances they had. Looking at ourselves we had much better chances and if we’d just been more clinical we could have got something.
“I think we already knew you have to take your chances at this level. I don’t think it’s a case of us learning to keep our cool, it’s just sometimes things don’t go your way. On the night this time the chances just didn’t go for us.”
And Armstrong even believes the young Scots could be due to give a nation a hammering soon because of the number of chances they are creating – albeit failing to put away.
He said: “In other games against lesser teams we’ll have more of the ball. We didn’t have too much possession against Holland, but we did create a number of chances.
“I think as the possession goes up the chances will go up and we’ll manage to get a few.
“I wouldn’t say I went out there against Holland wanting to prove anything because I always want to give my best for the team and for myself.”