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Players need to regroup and hit back, says Grant

 

By Andy Newport

Scotland assistant coach Peter Grant claims the players have to make a statement against San Marino after they failed in the basic aspects of football in Kazakhstan.

Alex McLeish's squad have a quick turnaround following their disastrous start to their European Championship qualifying group, when they went down 3-0 in the Astana Arena.

Scotland now face San Marino tomorrow and Grant has demanded the players show a reaction to one of the country's all-time worst results.

Grant said: "They have to make a statement, it's not about looking to. They have to do it.

"It doesn't matter who you play, you have to earn it. There is no givens in any football match. You have to earn everything.

"People say it's the easiest thing in the world to defend - we proved it's not, because you have to defend as a group and that comes right from the front. We didn't do that well enough.

"Against the ball we weren't good enough and with the ball we weren't good enough. So we have to put it right against San Marino, we have to win, and it has to be a much better performance."

San Marino go into the game on the back of a 5-0 defeat in Cyprus while Group I favourites Belgium started their campaign off with a 3-1 home win over Russia.

But the concerning factor for Grant was that mistakes and dangers which were flagged up before the game were not heeded.

Grant said: "We were caught with sucker punches, a ball in between us where a runner has come from midfield. We said that would happen and it did.

"And the second goal started from a throw-in."

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