Euro 2020: Ally McCoist admits Kieran Tierney’s absence was ‘certainly a blow’ in Scotland’s defeat to Czech Republic… but insists Steve Clarke’s side can have ‘no excuses’ after lacking quality in front of goal
Ally McCoist admitted Scotland missed Kieran Tierney in their Euro 2020 opener against the Czech Republic, but insisted they only had themselves to blame for the defeat.
Steve Clarke’s side loss 2-0 in front of a raucous Scottish crowd as Patrik Schick scored a brace, the second of those coming via an audacious effort from the halfway line.
Tierney’s absence due to injury was a big blow to the Scots, and while McCoist felt the team really missed the Arsenal left-back, he put the disappointing defeat down to a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.
Ally McCoist believes Scotland missed Kieran Tierney but had their finishing to blame for loss
The pundit felt Scotland’s left-hand side was noticeably weaker without the Arsenal full-back
‘It was certainly a blow for us,’ McCoist said on ITV. ‘To be honest with you I don’t really think we really got going for 15/20 minutes.
‘We huffed and puffed, had a lot of effort, but we missed a little built of guile, certainly a little bit of drive that Tierney gives us down the left hand side.
‘In all honesty, I don’t think there was an awful lot in the game, but we were beaten by two bits of absolute quality. The second one in particular, brilliance.
‘We had chances, but you’ve got to take them, you have to take them. That’s the little bit of quality that we lack in front of goal.
The Scots had chances to get back into it but could not find a ruthless edge in front of goal
‘At the same time, no excuses. You can say you’re unlucky, but we have to take the chances.
‘I think we did ok today. I didn’t there there wasn’t an awful lot between the sides, but they had a little bit of quality and you could see that, particularly in front of goal.’
This was on paper Scotland’s easiest match in Group B, with a trip to face England at Wembley before welcoming Croatia to Hampden Park.
They will need to find a response against England and Croatia if they are to still progress
As four third-placed teams go through to the last 16 there is still hope for the Scots, with McCoist not giving up hope yet.
‘I think that’s the beauty of the group, we have to pick up three points from somewhere – there’s no doubt about it,’ he said.
‘I honestly felt this was our best chance of getting three points, but it doesn’t mean it’s our only chance of getting three points.’