Football: Former Scotland star John Collins urged supporters to be patient with manager Craig Levein today despite Scotland’s slow start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Boos rang around Hampden Park as the weekend’s stalemate with Serbia was followed by a 1-1 draw against Macedonia yesterday.
The eastern Europeans sit 50 places lower than the Scots in Fifa’s current world rankings, but after the game Levein preferred to look at the positives, claiming that there was “no need to get worried about the situation.”
And Collins, who scored for Scotland against Brazil in the 1998 World Cup, believes the manager deserves time to turn the team’s fortunes around.
He said: “Two games into a campaign, I think we’ve got to be a little more patient, although it’s going to be tough to get in among the leaders.
“(There are) grumblings already — I think that just seems to be the way it goes up here after a few bad results. We all start calling for the manager’s head.”
The former Celtic and Everton midfielder added: “I feel for Craig, I think he was fairly brave in his team selection.
“There’s lots of questions about him being maybe too negative and defensive but I don’t think you could call the starting XI last night a negative and defensive team.”
Nikolce Noveski gave Macedonia an early lead, before Kenny Miller levelled just before the break.
Scotland had more of the possession in the second half but were thankful when Ferhan Hasani’s shot smacked against the post and away to safety.
“I don’t think it was a great performance, that’s for sure,” Collins said.
“We really needed to start the game well try to get our noses in front. We’re a far better team when we get our noses in front.
“The crowd get behind the team but it was the opposite effect. We conceded the early goal, we were a little bit edgy, the crowd got edgy, but we did get back in it, got the equaliser.
“(In the) second half we huffed and puffed and there was certainly plenty of effort, endeavour and commitment, but we couldn’t get that winning goal so it was disappointing, two points from the first two games, but as a positive we can say we’re only two points behind the leaders of the group.”