Levein stays calm despite Scotland plunge down the rankings

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Scotland manager Craig Levein is unfazed by his side's slump in the Fifa rankings, despite the impact it could have on qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Scotland dropped 16 places to 66th in the rankings announced today by football's world governing body, with world and European champions Spain – top of Scotland's Euro 2012 qualifying group – leading the way.

Levein's men fell despite February's win over Northern Ireland, who are a place above them in 65th and face the Republic of Ireland (34th) and Wales (115th) in the Carling Nations Cup in Dublin next month.

The ranking could have an adverse effect on who Scotland are drawn against later this year for the 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds, but Levein's focus is on building a team to beat any opposition.

Speaking at the launch of PFA Scotland's Manager of the Year award, he said: "I'm not hugely concerned about where we are in what I believe is a flawed rankings system. I'm more concerned with putting together a group of players capable of beating teams not just one pot above us, but two pots above us.

"It might be we're in group four, [but] I'm more interested in getting a good group of players together, putting a good team together and being able to punch above our weight and beat teams in the pots above us. Playing against Brazil I think was 100 per cent the right thing to do at our stage of development to test the players, and the Brazil match in itself didn't have a huge impact on the rankings."

World champions Spain and runners-up the Netherlands have retained a healthy lead in the rankings, with Italy back in the top 10.

Brazil have moved up two places to third with Germany and Argentina each slipping down a place to fourth and fifth, respectively. England remain sixth.

Italy, the 2006 world champions, climbed two spots to ninth to return to the top 10 after a seven-month absence.

Comments