Goalless draw seen as progress for Vogts

A repeat of the humiliation which Hungary inflicted when beating Scotland 3-0 a month earlier might well have panicked the Scottish Football Association into relieving Berti Vogts of his duties yesterday. But if a 0-0 draw at home to Slovenia was a damp squib of a start to their World Cup campaign, the display was sufficiently improved to ensure that Vogts lives to fight another day.

After the SFA's monthly board meeting a spokesman stated that there was "no change" in Vogts' position.

"The national team was discussed, but the position remains the same. Berti has a contract to get Scotland to the World Cup. There was no vote, no ultimatum."

Scotland's Group Five schedule continues against Norway at Hampden Park on Saturday 9 October, with a visit to Moldova the following Wednesday. Both are dangerous fixtures for Vogts. Not only has the manager identified the Norwegians as one of the Scots' principal rivals to reach Germany 2006, but Moldova represent the kind of obstacle over which they tripped against the Faroe Islands and Lithuania during the forlorn quest to qualify for Euro 2004.

After the stalemate with Slovenia, when Scotland dominated the first half yet were fortunate not to concede a goal during the second, Vogts went round the dressing-room enthusing about "a very good performance". Darren Fletcher, for one, struggled to share his satisfaction. "The manager was trying to pick us up, saying we did well," said the Manchester United midfielder. "But that's the way we are as a nation. We're disappointed. It feels as if it wasn't good enough."

For Malky Mackay, perhaps the only advantage of being overlooked for so long by Vogts is that he was not steeped in the culture of confusion and calamity which critics claim the German has brought to his role. The centre-back, whose £250,000 move from Norwich City to Coventry City fell through yesterday, offered a more upbeat assessment.

"I think we played very well in the first half and caused problems down the wings," Mackay said.

"We lost momentum after Gary Naysmith went off injured. But it has been a great nine days [the squad convened last week for the friendly in Spain]. We've trained a lot together and, in patches, you could see it paying off. There's more structure to our play, we look hard to beat and the atmosphere is more like a club side," he added.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future