Ex-Hibs star John McGinn insists: Blame the players, not Steve Clarke

John McGinn insists any criticism levelled at the Scotland national team should be directed at the players and not Steve Clarke following the 4-1 win over Armenia.

By Craig Fowler
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 9:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 9:26 pm
Stuart Armstrong is mobbed by his Scotland team-mates after brilliantly putting his side ahead against Armenia. Picture: AP
Stuart Armstrong is mobbed by his Scotland team-mates after brilliantly putting his side ahead against Armenia. Picture: AP

The head coach came in for some criticism after Saturday’s 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Ireland in their second Nations League contest after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Tuesday night’s opponents to begin the campaign.

With the loss in Dublin coming so soon off the back of the disappointing exit to Ukraine in the World Cup play-offs, many supporters openly wondered on social media whether Clarke had taken Scotland as far as he could.

McGinn, who got on the scoresheet in Yerevan, was having none of that narrative.

“The team were never in any doubt about what the manager has achieved. If there was any noise about that then it was wrong,” he said to the BBC.

“The criticism should have come towards us. I didn’t see any, but the criticism should have come towards us as players.

“It’s been a disappointing camp for us, overall. It’s one we’ll need to reassess and come back in September stronger and play better to our capabilities.”

McGinn’s team-mate Stuart Armstrong underlined the importance of getting back to winning ways after Saturday’s set-back.

“It’s always difficult when you have a poor performance. You have to bounce back quickly. Thankfully we got that opportunity just three days later,” the two-goal hero in Armenia told the Scottish FA.

"Three points were so important to keep our dream alive in this group. Thankfully we’ve done that and we can look forward to the games in September.”

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