Alan Hutton: I slipped up - Scotland didn’t

Alan Hutton tries to get to grips with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski. The defender had an uncomfortable night in Warsaw (Reuters)
Alan Hutton tries to get to grips with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski. The defender had an uncomfortable night in Warsaw (Reuters)
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Scotland full-back Alan Hutton has admitted frustration over his role in the 2-2 draw against Poland – but will take encouragement from the team’s performance in Warsaw.

Hutton gifted the hosts an early lead in the European Championship qualifier when his heavy touch set up Krzysztof Maczynski to fire home from 20 yards after the Aston Villa right-back intercepted a forward pass.

Goals from Shaun Maloney and Steven Naismith turned the game on its head but Hutton was again at fault when Arkadiusz Milik ran on to a pass in behind the former Rangers player and slammed the ball into the net with 14 minutes left.

Scotland survived a late onslaught and were thankful for the final whistle, but manager Gordon Strachan was delighted with their overall display after they produced some good spells of passing football, none better than the lead-up to Maloney’s equaliser.

And Hutton took heart from that facet of the performance while recognising he should have done better himself.

The 29-year-old said: “At the first goal, I could have done better. It came to me and I’ve not taken a great touch.

“It’s disappointing but the team is the main thing, me not playing my best is just one of those things.

“It’s frustrating from a personal point of view. It shows how from we’ve progressed that we’re disappointed with a draw in Poland. We’ve come so far in the last few years.”

Hutton, who was one of Scotland’s better performers in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Georgia, added: “When you come to play an away game against a team like this you know it’s going to be tough, but overall we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three points.

“We showed we can come away to tough grounds and tough atmospheres and play well. There were some great performances on the night as well. We could’ve sneaked it.”

Hutton lined up in a defence that featured two changes from their Ibrox victory at the weekend, with Steven Whittaker replacing Andrew Robertson at left-back and Gordon Greer coming in for the injured Grant Hanley.

Greer put in a composed and confident display against the likes of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, earning fulsome praise from Strachan, despite the manager’s assertion that he “looks like a rock star who has just turned up at a testimonial”.

The Brighton defender relished the chance to play against a side who had just beaten world champions Germany.

He told the Scottish Football Association YouTube channel: “It’s a tough group but as footballers you want to test yourself against the best and Poland are a fantastic team. I thought we coped really well and were unlucky not to win.

“I think over the piece it was maybe a fair result given the chances that they had, but I thought we played really well and were unlucky not to get three points.”

Scotland can be satisfied with their four points from their first three games given they have played in difficult venues such as Dortmund and Warsaw, but they find themselves three points behind the Poles and the Republic of Ireland after their Group D rivals both took something from games against the World Cup winners.

That makes Scotland’s clash with Martin O’Neill’s side at Celtic Park on November 14 even more interesting, but Strachan is convinced the group will go to the wire and Greer will focus on preparing as normal.

“All the games are massive, so we will just be preparing ourselves as well as we can for that game,” he said.

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