Peter Houston admits Scotland U21s Euro hopes over after Tynecastle defeat

Peter Houston admitted Scotland Under-21s' bid to qualify for next year’s European Championship is effectively over after they lost 2-0 to Turkey at Tynecastle.

Hibs midfielder Josh Campbell made his Scotland U-21 debut in the UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifier against Turkey
Hibs midfielder Josh Campbell made his Scotland U-21 debut in the UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifier against Turkey

The Scots are now fourth in Group I, five points adrift of the top two with just three games to play.

Assistant Houston, who took charge of the team as head coach Scot Gemmill missed the match with Covid, said: "I don't think we'll qualify now. Belgium have won all six games, Denmark are well ahead in the group as well. I don't think Turkey will catch the top two.

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"We're looking to finish third now for when it comes to the next seeding of groups."

Houston conceded Turkey - with whom Scotland drew 1-1 in Bursa in September - were well worthy of their victory in Edinburgh.

"We were just beaten by a better team, guys who were more physical and more capable than us," he said. "It just shows we've got a lot of learning to do. We did miles better against them over there in Turkey, we had more chances in that game. But they brought in some more experienced players this time and they looked like men at times.

"We looked bereft of confidence tonight. Our touch was bad. Every time we got it we gave it away, especially first half. We had to make changes to get more men in the central area of the pitch.

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"It was a crap second goal to lose. At 1-0, we might have sneaked something but if we did, it would have been a travesty on their behalf because they were the stronger and better team tonight.

"We didn't deserve anything from the game but we didn't give in and we did a bit better in the second half."

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Connor Barron, Hibs midfielder Josh Campbell, Connor Smith and Jay Henderson all made their Scotland debuts as second-half substitutes. Hibs left-back Josh Doig played the 90 minutes.

"The main positive I can take from tonight is that we gave some young players a bit of 21s experience," said Houston. "I thought Josh Campbell and Connor Barron did exceptionally well for their first go at 21s."

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Scotland now travel to Kazakhstan for their sixth qualifier on Tuesday against the section's bottom side.