Willie Miller: Tartan Army needs to be convinced Scotland is going to fight for Euro 2020 qualification

Scotland's Johnny Russell fires home to make it 2-0 against San Marino.
Scotland's Johnny Russell fires home to make it 2-0 against San Marino.

Scotland boss Alex McLeish must be given the chance to turn around the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Hopefully Alex will get the opportunity to go into the next Group I qualifier against Cyprus at Hampden on June 8 to try and resurrect the situation by securing three points.

This is a situation that is very uncomfortable for Alex, the players and the SFA at this moment.

The only way to come out of it is to get a result in the next game.

There is obviously a lot of concern and unrest within the fans and media in terms of the manger’s position and the team’s performances.

After the defeat in Kazakhstan Alex was never going to come out of the San Marino qualifier with any credit.

Kazakhstan was so bad that questions have rung loud about Alex’s capability of taking this squad to the European championships.

Some of the performances have been unconvincing but Alex has the safety net of possibly qualifying through the Uefa Nations league play-offs having secured a spot late last year.

However the Tartan Army need to be confident that the team are performing to a level that will actually see them through that Nations League route if necessary.

The requirement is to get a good Group I campaign up and going to hopefully try to qualify for the Euros through the group stages.

If that is not the case then they have to go into the Nations League play-offs with momentum.

Following the defeat in Kazakhstan it is a huge ask to finish above Russia, who are the team we should be targeting.

Scotland’s Graeme Shinnie arrives in Glasgow early this morning.

Russia taking care of Kazakhstan so comfortably by winning 4-0 away from home certainly hasn’t helped the situation either.

What is required is optimism that Scotland will make a fight of it to try and finish second.

That is probably the only way the fans and the SFA will be convinced enough to stick with the current situation.

If it is a no hope campaign then I do think they will take the decision not to allow it to drag on.

Belgium are ranked number one in the world and will obviously be very difficult.

It is the games such as the home tie against Russia in September where Alex can resurrect this qualifying campaign.

It is still possible but the performances will have to improve.

Playing the world’s lowest ranked team San Marino was a no win situation for Alex as the manager was not going to come out of this game with any glory no matter the score-line.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish shows his frustration as his side struggle to find a second goal.

It is very early in the campaign but the 3-0 loss to Kazakhstan has put Russia in the driving seat and Scotland on the back foot in Group I.

Starting with an early goal in San Marino was just what was required and Kenny McLean delivered that in four minutes.

The expectation was that would be an early catalyst and that Scotland could keep the tempo up in the hope San Marino would fold.

When that didn’t happen nervousness set in and the fans began to get a bit restless.

There was some booing from the Tartan Army and the whole match became a struggle through that first half.

It was a bit brighter after the break but it wasn’t until the second goal that it settled down.

The introduction of James Forrest as a substitute made a difference down the right hand side to create the second goal.

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