Scotland’s failure to take their chances is what cost them in their opening Euro 2020 defeat by the Czech Republic, says captain Andy Robertson.
Scotland were undone by two Patrik Schick goals but hit the bar themselves and had 19 shots on goal at Hampden.
Five of those found the target, with Tomas Vaclik denying Robertson, Lyndon Dykes, and averting an own goal.
“We were confident, excited, and it comes down to not taking our chances,” Robertson said on BBC One.
“You can’t say we’ve not created – we’ve had some really, really good chances that we should have done better with.
“If you do better on that, then it’s a different game. It’s a tough lesson for us that at the highest level, at the best tournaments, you have to take your chances. The Czech Republic did that, we didn’t.”
John McGinn was denied early on, as was Robertson by Vaclik’s flying fingertip save. A host of chances followed in the second half as the Czechs attempted to sit on their lead, but a cutting edge could not be found.
It is a familiar story for Steve Clarke’s side, who have only scored two or more goals twice in their last 10 competitive matches, including a 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
“They were clinical. At this level you do need to be clinical,” said midfielder Stuart Armstrong.
“We need to take experiences of today, learn from what happened, make a few little tweaks to our game. Fundamentally there were some positive moments and we have to carry that through to Friday.
“We’ve got two chances to produce a good performance and get something from it.”
‘Ability of hindsight is a wonderful thing’
Amid a host of selection dilemmas, who would lead the line was near the top of Clarke’s list. In the end, he chose Dykes and Ryan Christie, with the latter replaced at half-time by Che Adams.
The Southampton forward’s creativity and skill changed the dynamic of the game and will likely push him into contention to start against England at Wembley on Friday.
“Hindsight is a wonderful gift; nobody’s got it,” said the Scotland manager when asked if Adams’ performance raised the question that he should have started.
“It’s a good learning experience. We didn’t come here to learn but you still have to learn your lessons and take your chances when they present themselves, make sure you stay in the game and get something from it.”
Kieran Tierney was a surprise absentee, with Clarke explaining pre-match that a niggle had caused him to miss out.
“I’m hopeful, but I wouldn’t be getting overexcited about it,” he said of the Arsenal defender’s chances of facing England.
“He’s been an integral part of how we’ve played recently. The boys who came in, by and large, defended well, if you take out the set-play and the clever play from their striker. We missed Kieran.”
‘Scotland have come back before’ – analysis
Former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher on BBC One
This team have been written off before but have come back. I’m not ruling us out against England by any stretch of the imagination. Pick yourselves up, go to Wembley and who knows what can happen? We’ve got good enough players, we’ve a bit of character about us and we’ve just got to go there and prove that
We need Czech Republic to do us a favour against Croatia, so we’ll be supporting them in that game. They are a solid team, but Schick gives them real quality.
What did you make of it?
John Allardice: Poor team selection and a negative mentality gets you exactly what you deserve. Really hoping the manager will make bolder choices for the England game, even if we get a pasting.
Dougie HFC: The wings were where we could’ve won the game. Robertson was excellent on the left and if we’d started with Forrest or Patterson on the right, who knows. Long balls up to Dykes against those centre halves wasn’t on.
Malcolm MacKenzie: Will be the same as Ally McLeod not playing an in form Souness in Argentina in 1978 – lose the first two games and be out, before he plays Gilmour in the Croatia game and he plays out of his skin and Scotland win at a canter.
Epsilon One: Long ball is plan B, no? Not plan A, B and C. Czechs were not that mobile, we had the players to take it to them but didn’t.