Mcleish hits back after another Scottish disaster: I’ve never flinched from a challenge ..I won’t start now
UNDER-FIRE Scotland boss Alex Mcleish says the storm of criticism he has faced has made him more determined to revive the country’s flagging fortunes.
The former Aston Villa and Birmingham manager has taken serious flak following Thursday’s confidencesapping 2-1 defeat in Israel.
It was his fifth loss in seven games since taking charge of Scotland for a second time and leaves qualification for the Nations League play-offs hanging in the balance.
But the 59-year-old insists he’s still the right man for the job. “I’ve never flinched from a challenge and I’m not going to start now. No way,” he said.
“The more criticism I get, the more determined I am to turn it around.
“I am determined to see it through and get the team to the level where you guys all like it and the supporters, especially, like it.
“That’s my challenge and I have never flinched from a challenge. When people put the boot in, I tend to bounce back.”
Mcleish admitted the Israel defeat – which saw John Souttar red-carded – hurt him and his players (above) and reminded him of the pain management can bring.
“It’s in my DNA. I am a masochist,” he said. “I will probably hear about the criticism coming my way.
“If there is good information there for me to take, then of course I will take it.”
Mcleish and the Scotland squad returned yesterday to their Edinburgh base to prepare for tomorrow’s friendly against Portugal. Big Eck, looking for a response now from his players, said:
“We have slipped down the rankings over a number of years and we have a lot of clawing back to do now.”
After eight months and seven games of Mcleish’s second reign, fans are asking if Scotland have progressed, or even gone backwards, since Gordon Strachan left. Asked how he thought his reign has gone, Mcleish, who first took charge of the national team in January 2007 and started his second spell just eight months ago, said: “I do like some of the things we are doing.
“But we lose to sucker goals. We are trying to get rid of that over a period of time and trying to get those gilt-edged shut-outs without parking the bus every game.”