Collins: I feel for Levein

PA Sport
John Collins hopes the Scotland supporters can be patient with Craig Levein, right

View photo

John Collins hopes the Scotland supporters can be patient with Craig Levein, right

John Collins has called for supporters to be patient with manager Craig Levein despite Scotland's slow start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Boos rang around Hampden Park on Tuesday night as Levein's side followed up Saturday's stalemate with Serbia with a 1-1 draw against Macedonia.

The eastern Europeans are ranked 50 places lower than the Scots in FIFA's current world rankings, but after the game the former Hearts boss preferred to look at the positives and claimed there was "no need to get worried about the situation".

Collins, who scored for Scotland against Brazil in the 1998 World Cup, believes the manager deserves time to turn the team's fortunes around.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "Two games into a campaign, I think we've got to be a little more patient, although it's going to be tough to get in among the leaders.

"(There are) grumblings already - I think that just seems to be the way it goes up here after a few bad results. We all start calling for the manager's head.

"I feel for Craig, last night I think he was fairly brave in his team selection. If you look at the players he put on the park, James Forrest, a winger, Shaun Maloney, an attacking player, Kenny Miller, Jamie Mackie.

"There's lots of questions about him being maybe too negative and defensive but I don't think the starting XI last night you could call it a negative and defensive team."

Nikolce Noveski gave Macedonia an early lead, before Kenny Miller levelled just before the break. Scotland had more of the possession in the second half, but were thankful when Ferhan Hasani's shot smacked against the post and away to safety.

"I don't think it was a great performance that's for sure," former Hibernian boss Collins added. "I think we started poorly. We really needed to start the game well try to get our noses in front. We're a far better team when we get our noses in front."

View comments (0)