Rangers defender John Souttar has his say on Scotland defeat - 'it’s a difficult day for everyone'

John Souttar’s omission from the Scotland starting line-up against Ireland disappointed many onlookers but that dissatisfaction paled when compared to the overall performance of the men who did get the nod.

Republic of Ireland's Scott Hogan battles for possession of the ball with Scotland's John Souttar, (left) during the UEFA Nations League match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Republic of Ireland's Scott Hogan battles for possession of the ball with Scotland's John Souttar, (left) during the UEFA Nations League match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

A defensive display which allowed the hosts to conjure up two easy goals in the opening 30 minutes, they threatened greater humiliation as they made it 3-0 and, very nearly 4-0, early in the second half

“It’s a difficult day for everyone, especially when we’ve been doing so well recently. That makes it harder to take,” admitted the Rangers-bound defender, who eventually came on as a 74th-minute substitute.

“We’ll try and move on – not to forget but to get ourselves back up for the Armenia game, it’s an opportunity to put this to bed.

“It’s good that we have such a quick turnaround. We can have a look back at what went wrong here and then get ourselves ready straight away.

“As much as this is a bad result, there are still a lot of games to be played in this group, so we can’t get too down. It’s important we don’t let this drag us down, we have to bounce back.”

Alluding to opportunities for the likes of John McGinn as Scotland looked aggressive on the press in the early stages, only to falter after Ireland took the lead, Souttar said it was a reminder of how important it is to convert chances on the international stage.

“We had a flurry of chances early on but their two goals made it a totally different game. Then when they get the third, it’s not easy when you come on for the last 20 minutes in that situation.

“There were harsh words spoken, of course there were. There’s a standard that’s been set by this group of boys, everyone knows how well the group’s done and this kind of performance won’t be accepted by anyone in there.

“The reaction from the fans hurts because every one of us is a Scotland fan. We’re not just players, we support the team.

“So we’re hurting, that’s for sure, right down to the last man.

“As for tiredness, I can’t speak on behalf of anyone else, but I don’t think there are any excuses. I don’t think anyone in that dressing room would want to make any."