Thursday, 29 Sep, 2022


Croatia 3-1 Scotland: John McGinn says Euro 2020 must 'be the start'

Sports Desk |
Update: 2021-06-23 13:45:26
Croatia 3-1 Scotland: John McGinn says Euro 2020 must 'be the start' [photo collected]

Reaching Euro 2020 must "be the start" for Scotland at major finals, after they "didn't do ourselves justice" this time, says midfielder John McGinn.

Steve Clarke's side needed to win to reach the last 16, but were taken apart by the 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia on a sobering night at Hampden.

Scotland's men are yet to go further than the group stage at a major finals, having not qualified since 1998.

"We've got to use this to drive us on to more tournaments," McGinn told ITV.

"They're an excellent team, we knew that. We were ignoring all the noise that they were an ageing team and slow. They weren't, and they have one of the best players in the world in Luka Modric.

"The World Cup is our aim now. You look around the dressing room and we've got a good age group, determined guys and we feel as if we didn't do ourselves justice.

"We need to become a nation that is used to it, we need to become braver and better. But what we have done is create history coming here and we want this to be the start, not the end."

Head coach Clarke made just one change from the side that drew 0-0 at Wembley on Friday, with Stuart Armstrong replacing Billy Gilmour in midfield after he tested positive for Covid-19.

And it was in that area of the pitch that Scotland struggled, as Modric in particular posed problems and capped his performance with a stunning second goal for Croatia.

"Tonight we were against a team that are tournament hardened and they knew how to play the third game in a group and probably we didn't," Clarke told BBC Scotland.

"We didn't get anything out the first game which meant we had to go to Wembley and expend a lot of energy physically and mentally to give ourselves a chance and maybe we suffered for it in the third game.

"That's something we can learn for the next tournament - I promise you it won't be 23 years until the next one."

Andy Robertson: "It's massively disappointing. Croatia showed why they've got to a World Cup final. They showed their experience. Modric just ran the game and scored a wonderful goal. But I'm so proud of all the players, and proud to be captain of this country."

David Marshall: "The positivity was there after the England performance, and we started the game well, so it's a big disappointment. Croatia handled the second half really well. There are fine margins in games, but we can't argue with the result really."

Callum McGregor: "It's always nice to score and get my first goal for my country - but we're disappointed with the result. It was a tough learning experience against some really top players but it just gives you the hunger to come back again."

I don't think you'll see a team in the Euros go as long as often as we did. It was football from another era. If we're going to progress, we've got to play more football. We can do it, we did it at Wembley.

Former Scotland striker Billy Dodds on BBC Radio Scotland

We didn't start the tournament well and we've come up well short tonight. We let Croatia have the ball, which was the wrong thing to do. We looked tired at times, and left ourselves too much to do.

Former Scotland defender Willie Miller on BBC Radio Scotland

We're talking top quality midfielders for Croatia - but I think the three we picked could have got closer to them. We were content to let the wing-backs sit wide and not come in and close the space. Just giving them all the room to destroy us.

Former Scotland striker Ally McCoist on ITV

If we can keep producing the Pattersons, the Gilmours, the Tierneys, the Turnbulls, the Robertsons, we'll be back in a major championship again. Without getting carried away we've definitely got better players in our team than we've had for a while. It's disappointing tonight but there's hope for the future.

Source: BBC,

BDST: 1345 HRS, JUNE 23, 2021

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