ARM­BAND RE­SPONSE

Cap­tain Robbo won’t be skip­ping any re­spon­si­bil­ity

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - Michael Bail­lie

ANDY ROBERT­SON has ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity as Scot­land cap­tain – but knows that the arm­band comes with greater scru­tiny.

How­ever the Liver­pool ace, 24, in­sists he is strong enough to cope with any flak which may fly his way af­ter Scot­land’s hu­mil­i­at­ing loss to Is­rael on Thurs­day night.

The Na­tions League de­feat in­Haifa – 2-1 by a team ranked 94th in the world – has seen Alex McLeish and his play­ers come un­der fire.

But Robert­son claims he can han­dle be­ing made scape­goat as skip­per and has vowed they will get it right.

He said: “You feel ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity as I have to try and help lift the boys and all the staff.

“Every­one was down af­ter that per­for­mance.

“Peo­ple can re­act neg­a­tively to me as that is all part and par­cel of it.

“Since I was made cap­tain it has hap­pened a bit more as they see you as a scape­goat.

“That’s fine, I can deal with that and take it on the chin.

“I have to up my per­for mances. We are all pulling in the right di­rec­tion.

“No­body is ever go­ing to be com­fort­able with be­ing made a scape­goat.

“If 10 peo­ple came into your work and started slat­ing you – in any line of work – then you are not go­ing to be very com­fort­able.

“If peo­ple want to use me as a scape­goat, that’s fine.

“I know that per­for­mance wasn’t good enough and peo­ple are go­ing to talk.

“That’s how the world works now with so­cial me­dia and it is about try­ing to stay away from that and bounce back. My per­for­mance was not good enough. I’m not com­ing out and say­ing that I played well and all the rest were rub­bish.

“I was one of the worst, if not the worst in my head, so I’ve got to be bet­ter.”

Kieran Tierney shoul­dered the blame for the de­feat as his own goal sealed Is­rael’s win but Robert­son in­sists no­body is blam­ing the Celtic ace.

He said: “He’s a young lad who thought it was his fault and he came in and apol­o­gised.

“But we didn’t all say, ‘Okay KT, you take the blame!’.

“Ev­ery­body was a bit con­fused by it but that’s the way KT is and the lads said ‘Don’t be stupid, none of us per­formed’.”

The co­nun­drum re­mains for Scot­land as to how to get two class left-backs – Robert­son and Tierney – into the start­ing line-up.

McLeish has opted for a 3-5-2 for­ma­tion with Tierney in a back three and Robert­son as a wing-back.

But nei­ther look com­fort­able in their new roles.

Robert­son added: “It’s a tough one. Play­ing left mid­field is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent po­si­tion to left-back.

“As a kid I some­times played there but I find it a lot bet­ter with some­one in front of me.

“I like link­ing up, play­ing in­side and run­ning off. I think that’s where my strength is.

“But if the man­ager chooses to go with three at the back then both of us have picked up a po­si­tion we need to get bet­ter at.

“If the man­ager pulls me and says I am play­ing here then you have to take it and try to bet­ter your­self.”

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