ANDY ROBERTSON believes Alex McLeish would be well within his rights to axe TEN of his team for next month’s crucial Nations League clash with Albania.
The Scotland skipper was left distraught by the performance in Israel, which he argues was an abject failure, both on a collective and individual level.
“It was a bad day all round,” said the Liverpool full-back.
“The lads never performed and we paid the price.
“My performance on Thursday wasn’t good enough. I was one of the worst – if not the worst – at least in my own head. I’ve got to be better.
“It is probably the worst game I’ve had in a Scotland jersey and the worst result.
“So I’m not coming out and saying I played well, and that all the rest were rubbish.
“If I was the manager, I would be doubting every position for Albania because none of us showed up. Apart, that is, from Allan McGregor, who kept the score down.
“He was outstanding in goal. But, other than that, I don’t think anyone played to their capabilities, so we’re all under pressure.
“The lads on the bench can see that and know that there are places up for grabs.
“Of course it hurts. You never want to be part of these things that happen.
“I was part of the team when Gibraltar scored their first-ever goal at Hampden.
“We went on to win the game 6-1, but all the players knew that we could have scored 12 and still we would have got negative press and negative fan reaction.”
As McLeish’s newly-appointed captain – and as a regular for English Premier League giants, Liverpool – Robertson has come in for more than his share of criticism in the wake of the loss.
But he is philosophical about that.
“People can react negatively to me as that is all part and parcel of it,” he said.
“Nobody is ever going to be comfortable with it.
“If 10 people came into your work and started slating you – in any line of work – you’re not going to be comfortable.
“But if people want to use me as a scapegoat, fine. I’ll take it on the chin.
“I know that performance wasn’t good enough, and people are going to talk.
“That’s how the world works now with social media
“It’s about trying to stay away from that and bouncing back.
“We’ll all be like that because all of the lads came under scrutiny. Luckily, we’ve got a game quite quickly and hopefully we can do bounce back.”
And whatever happens in today’s friendly against Portugal – European champions and the country ranked seventh in FIFA’s world rankings – Robertson insists the Tartan Army are entitled to their say.
“I’m never going to question the fans. They pay a lot of money to go over to places like Israel,” he said.
“They are frustrated at what happened, while we were frustrated as well.
“Since I’ve been with Scotland, we have had a few bad results.
“But Thursday was the first time we have been booed off.
“The players react to that, and while it wasn’t nice, it is up to us to prove we are fighting for this country.”