MX23RW : Wednesday, October 24 01:28:48

Israel were no mugs, says Scotland’s Alex McLeish after Nations League defeat

‘None of us, the coaches watching the games, thought that they were a right bad team,’ he said after the match.

Alex McLeish insisted Israel were no “mugs” after Scotland’s 2-1 Nations League defeat in the Sammy Ofer stadium on Thursday night.

Charlie Mulgrew’s penalty after 25 minutes gave the visitors an undeserved interval advantage in Haifa and there was no surprise when the hosts, 94th in FIFA’s rankings, levelled in the 51st minute, midfielder Dor Peretz making up for conceding the penalty with a barge on Steven Naismith with a close-range finish.

Scotland’s situation deteriorated in the 61st minute when defender John Souttar was sent off for picking up the second of two yellow cards before defender Kieran Tierney turned a cross from Beram Kayal past Allan McGregor with 15 minutes remaining.

It was Israel’s second win in 11 games – the first under boss Andreas Herzog – but a defiant McLeish said: “Did we ever say we were at a level where we should be qualifying for major tournaments? We’ve not said that.

Israel v Scotland – UEFA Nations League – Group C1 – Sammy Ofer Stadium
Scotland’s John McGinn appears dejected after they concede a second goal (Adam Davy/PA)

“We know we’re trying to build to being a team that can win and get points consistently and we’re still not quite at that level.

“We’re trying to build towards it. None of us, the coaches watching the games, thought that they were a right bad team.

“They have some good players there. (Manus) Dabbur is clever, a couple of fouls from John Souttar and he fooled the referee in both challenges, he got a soft booking, the first one, and then the sending off.

“That’s an experienced players in European football. Don’t think they’re mugs and we should be wiping the floor with them.”

Scotland skipper Andy Robertson understood the frustrations of the Tartan Army who booed their side off at the end.

He told the Scottish Football Association’s official Twitter account: “We weren’t good enough, that’s why they created chances.

“Without being disrespectful we made them look a better team than they were because if we can play a lot better – like we did in the first 15-20 minutes – they don’t get as many chances.

“Going down to 10 men, it was backs against the walls and we couldn’t really get out.

“It was just one of those nights when so many things went wrong.

“The fans booed us off the park which is understandable because of our performance.

“I get that and we can apologise to them but I am sure it won’t mean much to them.”

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account