‘We’re naive,’ says Sbra­gia af­ter two red cards and penalty

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL -

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.

FLAG DAY: Mur­ray cel­e­brates Cup win

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.