Alex McLeish Says Israel Defeat was ‘Game of Two Halves’ and Insists His Shape Worked

Alex McLeish Says Israel Defeat was ‘Game of Two Halves’ and Insists His Shape Worked

Scotland boss Alex McLeish has claimed his side’s defeat in Haifa was a classic case of a game of two halves, whilst insisting his 3-5-2 formation worked ‘to a degree’.

It looked like the Scots were heading for a promising away win against Israel when they went ahead in the first-half after a Charlie Mulgrew penalty, but there was very little to shout about after the break.

A goal from midfielder Dor Peretz levelled things at 1-1, and it wasn’t long before Israel’s dominance paid off.

Hearts centre-back John Souttar was sent off for a controversial second yellow card, and his expulsion was the death knell for McLeish’s men, who conceded again on 75 minutes through a Kieran Tierney own goal.

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Following the 2-1 loss, the former Rangers and Aston Villa coach faced the media, via the BBC, and gave his thoughts on a disappointing evening:

“It was a game of two halves really. We started really well and had good movement forward.

“We spoke at half time about starting fast but unfortunately we lose a soft goal and then we lost John Souttar (to a red card) as well – even more so Charlie Mulgrew at half-time, who was feeling really bad with a muscle strain.

“The shape worked to a degree, we were very comfortable in the first half. If I was playing four at the back, you (the media) would be looking for another system. I know how it works.

“Losing two central defenders makes it hard. It’s never easy playing with 10 and Israel had one or two players in good form and it was roasting out there, really warm.

“We had a good win against Albania and we need to pick it up again. We’ll get some stick for this and we need to bounce back.

“Did we ever say we’re at a level who should be qualifying for major tournaments? We’re still looking for consistency, we’re trying to build to that.”

What did you make of the performance, and McLeish’s comments?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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