‘We’re naive,’ says Sbragia after two red cards and penalty
SCOTLAND ended a dismal Euro Elite Round in Czech Republic after conceding a staggering four penalties and having three kids sent off in only three games.
The young Scots were reduced to nine men in Zlin after Celtic’s Michael Johnston – who had earlier netted Scotland’s first goal of the tournament – from the penalty spot – was shown a red card late on for conceding another spot kick.
Hungary were actually down to 10 men by that stage and after they had regained the lead from the subsequent spot kick, Hibs’ Ryan Porteous was also shown a straight red card for a late lunge on Hungary sub Balint Tomasvari in injury time.
However, manager Ricky Sbragia insisted his side are not an overly physical group of players.
He said: “I don’t think we’ve got a discipline problem. It’s just what the referee sees. On occasion, we play with the heart more than the brain. And we need to change that. You might think there’s a discipline issue, but that’s not why Michael was sent off.
“That wasn’t poor discipline, he was just tracking back.
“For Ryan’s red card, he didn’t go in to maim the boy, it was an honest tackle but their player was just too quick for him.
“When our boys go to this level of international football, it opens their eyes up a bit to what it’s all about. We’re naive. Of all the things you can label us with, naivety is probably the biggest thing, in terms of the way these teams go down and get free-kicks.
“We try to be strong and brave, but we’re naïve. We can’t teach our boys that. They’re just honest boys but sometimes you have to play with your brain. We’ve been our own worst enemy here.”
After a mistake from Ross McCrorie had gifted Bence Biro a first-half goal, Scotland managed to break their scoring duck with 16 minutes left when Daniel Harvie was pushed off in the box and Johnston converted the resulting spot kick, before another late penalty – converted by Bence Szabo – and the two late red cards soured another disappointing night even further.
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