Alex McLeish willing to sacrifice Scotland win ratio to find right formula
By Ron Walker
Last Updated: 23/03/18 11:04pm
Alex Mcleish says he would sacrifice a "great win ratio" to find a successful formula for Scotland, having given five players their debuts in his first game back in charge.
McLeish named Scott McTominay, Scott McKenna, Kevin McDonald and Oliver McBurnie in his starting line-up as the Tartan Army were beaten 1-0 by Costa Rica at Hampden Park, and also introduced Jamie Murphy from the bench late on.
A sluggish, nervous first half was in sharp contrast to how his young side emerged after the break, an outcome the Scotland boss felt was inevitable as he searches for his ideal set-up.
"It's a building process," he said. "They're a well-drilled team and we're a work in progress and still to get the team to play with a rhythm.
"It can happen that when you look at a team on paper and think it's a great team, many times in my career I've rotated a team and thought it's a good team but they've struggled a little bit, and we had that in the first half.
"It's not a competition, that's why we're experimenting, I'd love to have a great win ratio but sometimes you have to make some sacrifice and we've learned a lot tonight."
Whatever McLeish said at half-time had exactly the desired effect, and barring a goal Scotland were easily the better side following the restart.
Ahead of a second friendly in four days on Tuesday night in Hungary, McLeish confirmed he would rotate his side as he evaluates how they will line-up when the first Nations League takes place later this year.
He said: "The second half was better than the first. We were a bit laboured before half-time, we said to push up on them but we were kind of halfway there, not quite the full distance.
"We sat a little deep, the goal had three defenders in the middle of the box, but no-one who engaged with the striker. It was a good piece of play, but he punished us.
"We need to not let a goal in, and we need to score. That's quite simple. We have to be more clinical, we had some chances second half but we will be quite different and have a look at some other players."
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