Football

James McFadden Insists McLeish’s Scotland Sacking Came ‘Too Early’

James McFadden Insists McLeish’s Scotland Sacking Came ‘Too Early’

James McFadden has insisted Alex McLeish‘s sacking as Scotland boss came ‘too early’ into the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

McLeish was sacked in April following the abysmal 3-0 defeat away to Kazakhstan and the seriously underwhelming 2-0 victory over San Marino, with Steve Clarke eventually coming in as his replacement.

McFadden was McLeish’s assistant for his second stint as Scotland boss and he insists the axe fell far too quickly.

Speaking via the BBC, McFadden explained: “After Kazakhstan, it was inevitable there would be change.

“We lost two competitive games and that’s not a lot.

“You’re two games into the campaign and there’s a change, I felt it was too early.

“You could sense after the Kazakhstan game, there was a massive furore and a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon saying it was the worst result in [Scotland’s] history.

“There were guys commenting on it who’ve played against teams from Kazakhstan – Astana, who won convincing at home against Celtic, and Kairat Almaty, who put Aberdeen out – so that’s where we are.

“The San Marino game was the most pressure I’ve felt in a game and I wasn’t playing.

“It was a horrendous feeling going into the game thinking, ‘we need to make sure we beat San Marino.’

“The pressure was clearly affecting the players and that’s the last thing you want. [Booing during the San Marino game] hurt because when you prepare for any game you always try your best.

“It’s more the players you feel for because they give their all, are proud to play for their country, and are affected most by it.

“When it’s young players and it’s the pinnacle of their career to play for their country and they’re being booed after a win, that’s the difficult thing and you don’t like to see it affecting players.

“The beauty and hard side of it is I’m a Scotland fan, so it doesn’t take long to get over it and support the country.

“I want Scotland to do well in every game. You learn every day in football. It’s been a brilliant experience. To be a coach with your national team, there’s nothing better.”

Clarke’s arrival saw Scotland beat Cyprus at Hampden earlier this month, before going on to lose 3-0 to Belgium in Brussels three days later.

But what do you make of McFadden’s claims that McLeish was sacked too quickly? Should the pair have been given more time to prove they had what it takes to make it to the Euros and end Scotland’s two-decade wait to make a major tournament?

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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