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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss