Russell Martin feels players must take a share of the blame
Scotland defender Russell Martin has insisted the ingredients for success are within the current squad under manager Craig Levein.
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan maintained there will be no knee-jerk reaction over Levein’s position as pressure intensified following the 2-0 defeat to Belgium which left the Scots bottom of their World Cup qualifying group. After being beaten in Wales last week, Scotland have now taken just two points from four games – the only nation in the section without a win so far – and have little hope of booking a place at Brazil in 2014.
Levein, though, has made it clear he has no intention of quitting and the SFA will assess the situation over the coming days, with the next game against Luxembourg in mid-November the last before early 2013. Norwich defender Martin, an unused substitute in both World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium, insists the quality is there to turn things around.
“It is so hard for any international manager when you only get the lads together three or four times a year. The guys really like him and the staff, they are all really good people. It is just the results which have not gone the way everyone wanted,” he said. “Whatever happens, the boys are 100 per cent behind the manager, that is for sure.
“It could have been so different, and that is what is so hard in football. In Wales, we were 1-0 up with 20 minutes to go and they have one guy who can make a difference and he did when scoring a goal from 30 yards. If we had got a result there, then we would have gone into Tuesday’s game with not such a big a problem.
“It is a similar thing to what is happening back at Norwich – it is frustration because you know you have all the ingredients and it is just not happening.
“Hopefully the manager is given time for it to get better.”
Martin maintains the players must also shoulder some of the responsibility for recent failings.
“In the squad we have now, these guys are all playing regularly in the English Premier or in the Champions League with Celtic. We should have done better than we have and the boys know that. We have to take responsibility as a group of players, it is not just on the manager.”
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