Fletcher calls for focus
Darren Fletcher has urged Scotland to put the recent refereeing controversy behind them and focus on beating Lithuania.
Last Updated: 04/09/11 10:19pm
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher has urged his side to put the recent refereeing controversy behind them and focus on finishing their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a flourish.
Craig Levein's men were leading 2-1 late on against the Czech Republic in a crucial qualifier at Hampden on Saturday when Jan Rezek appeared to dive in box.
However, referee Kevin Blom pointed to the spot, much to Scotland's dismay, allowing Michal Kadlec to level the scores.
Blom then added to Scotland's frustration when he failed to award a penalty at the other end when Christophe Berra appeared to be tripped in the area.
The draw means Scotland remain five points behind second-placed Czech Republic in Group I and face an uphill struggle to qualify for next summer's European Championships.
Fletcher admits he is angry and frustrated with the display by referee Blom, especially as the Dutchman refused explain his decisions to him, even in his role as captain.
"It was bitterly disappointing because we feel it wasn't a penalty and the ref gives it," said the 27-year-old.
"Then we go up the other end a couple of minutes later and we have a stonewall penalty not given. I can't really understand it.
"You work all week, train hard, work on tactics, put the effort in as the lads put into the game and for it to be decided by a referee, football matches shouldn't be that way.
"I tried to speak to him the whole day and it was just a blank look and a 'go away', which is disappointing because usually as captain you get to speak to referees.
"They are a little bit more lenient towards captains and you can ask them questions, but he just wasn't interested the whole game.
Despite the dismay at the decision Fletcher has urged his team-mates to put it behind them and focus on beating Lithuania on Tuesday.
"We can't think it's bad luck or anything like that, we just have to pick ourselves up for Tuesday," added the Manchester United man.
"You can't go into the game too angry. We just have to refocus ourselves, pick ourselves up from the disappointment, get the fans behind us like they always are at Hampden, and pick up the three points.
"The Czechs have got two difficult games but if we don't do our job then what they do is irrelevant.
"We don't want it to be us not doing our jobs and then find out they have dropped points which meant we could have qualified.
"We have to finish with a bang and not a whimper. We can't give up, we have to keep battling while there is still hope."