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Levein Looking For Support From The Media
Published : 07 Sep 2011 13:03:56
Some people have never backed Craig Levein as Scotland manager. he wants everybodies backing After the clouds started to hover over Craig Levein's head over the poor showing in the EURO2012 qualifying campaign, he in looking to the Scottish media to give him and his players their support. Last night Scotland, thanks to Steven Naismith, kept their hopes alive of making the play-offs for the EURO2012 finals with a 1-0 win over Lithuania. After drawing 2-2 with Czech Republic on Saturday, captain Darren Fletcher had a penalty saved by Zydrunas Karcemarskas a minute before the break but in the 49th minute Naismith slammed in the winner off the post to take Levein's side to within two points of play-off rivals Czech Republic with both countries having two games left to play in Group I including having to play already qualified Spain. Levein is still unhappy with the reaction to Saturday's result. He said: "What frustrates me is that it is either up there or down there, there is no middle ground. We had a 2-2 draw on Saturday and should have won the match but in the resultant furore, people were questioning what I am trying to do, what the players are trying to do and what the SFA are trying to do. I don't understand why after a game in which I thought we played quite well. We are a year in to what I consider to be a long-term project and yes, I will be judged on results. But there is a plan here, it is not haphazard. But what does annoy me is that on Saturday, the lads ran their hearts out and played some good stuff and it was snatched away from us and since the weekend one journalist asked the chief executive (Stewart Regan) if I was getting a vote of confidence. It frustrates me and I am just asking you for some patience. Some people seem intent to try to derail anything positive that comes out the camp. I can tell you that myself, the backroom staff and players believe what we are trying to do and I ask you to try and back us. I think it is important that the media get behind the team, especially when we have a lot of young lads in the team. We are trying to play a different style of football, we are trying to pass the ball and be entertaining and I am asking for your help." Scotland's last two games are both away fixtures next month to Liechtenstein and Group I winners Spain while the Czechs have still to play Lithuania and the world and European champions. Levein admits he is frustrated that qualification will depend on other results. He said: "I was pleased and I think we deserved to win the game. But I would rather be in a better position. I go back to Saturday and I am still angry about that. We played a good game and with minutes left we were in the position to win the game and it was taken out of our hands." On Fletcher's penalty miss, the Scotland manager said: "I spoke to Darren beforehand and he said he would take it. It won't be the first or last penalty to be missed. That's football. If you miss a penalty in the first half you still have plenty of time to recover. Darren was immense tonight and he is a delight to work with." Lithuania coach Raimondas Zutautas was at a loss to explain why striker Tadas Labukas put his arm out to block Barry Bannan's free-kick to give Fletcher the chance from the spot. He said: "You would need to ask him. I asked him and he said he didn't know what happened. Maybe he wanted to be the goalkeeper. It was disappointing to lose. We have no chance of coming second so maybe we will make changes. But we will give 100% against the Czechs."