Levein coy on job speculation

Craig Levein refused to discuss his future as Scotland manager as he prepares for a must-win game against Belgium.

Last Updated: 15/10/12 at 21:21   

Craig Levein: Under pressure as Scotland manager

Craig Levein: Under pressure as Scotland manager

Craig Levein refused to discuss his future as Scotland manager as he prepares for a must-win game against Belgium on Tuesday night.

Pressure has intensified on the national team boss in the wake of Friday night's World Cup qualifying defeat against Wales in Cardiff.

The 2-1 reverse leaves the Scots second bottom of Group A, with just two points from three games, and knowing they need a victory against the section favourites in Brussels to have any hope of salvaging their campaign.

Asked if he may not be able to continue in his role if Scotland fail to deliver the goods against Belgium, Levein said: "I keep getting asked questions about 'what if this happens?' or 'what if that happens?'.

"I'm not prepared at all to enter into that.

"My job is to prepare the team for the game tomorrow, they will be doing their absolute best as always and I've got every confidence in the players."

The pressure will only increase further if the Scots suffer yet another disappointment on Tuesday night but Levein added: "I'm not worried about that at all.

"I'm concentrating completely on the match. Having my focus on anything else is counter-productive."

Scotland were forced to settle for a point from each home game against Serbia and Macedonia last month, ahead of the clash in Wales.

Those results leave another campaign hanging by a thread already and Levein was asked if the meeting with Belgium was his biggest game as manager.

He said: "It seems that every one is the biggest one.

"It's a tough ask but I've got huge confidence in the players.

"They showed in long spells on Friday that they are capable. We harbour a sense of injustice and one thing is for certain, we will put on a good performance, I'm sure of that."

The manager is still raging about the performance of the assistant referee who disallowed what appeared to be a perfectly good Steven Fletcher goal against the Welsh, when Scotland were leading thanks to James Morrison's first half opener.

A Charlie Adam cross was deemed to have swung out of play before reaching Fletcher, albeit television pictures appeared to suggest otherwise.

Levein said: "I'm excited about the prospect of another match tomorrow night.

"Yet, there is still a tinge of disappointment with the way the game turned out on Friday as you can imagine.

"It's difficult to accept what happened but the players have been great.

"We've had a couple of good training sessions and a few team meetings.

"We are very positive going into this game but there is still a touch of disappointment and more than a touch of anger about what happened on Friday.

"We feel we were badly let down by the officials and we have to use that anger to help us tomorrow night.

"In all my time in football I have never seen a decision like that so it's very difficult to take.

"Now it's about tomorrow night. This game is an opportunity for us to put Friday to bed."

He added: "There is absolutely no doubt we have a big performance in us.

"That has been evident in a number of games we have played and we need that tomorrow. We are capable of it.

"This is a tough place for anybody to come and take points, we accept that, but we are capable of it.

"They are a very good team and they have a good group of individual players. To go to Serbia and win 3-0 is a very good job indeed.

"We are aware of the strengths of Belgium but we are capable of a big performance and that's what we are looking for.

"We have to show respect to the opposition, of course we do. We have a plan we have been working on for a few days."


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