Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Miller feeling hard done by after two 'wrong calls' by referee


Kenny Miller believes Scotland have a legitimate grievance after two controversial decisions cost them victory against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Saturday. Scotland drew 2-2 after the Czechs were awarded a questionable penalty in the final minute, and even after that referee Kevin Blom turned down a more plausible penalty appeal after Christophe Berra went down.

While recent Cardiff City signing Miller admitted that Scotland did not play as well as they might, he insists they were entitled to complain about the referee. "Their penalty is soft and I think we've got a stonewaller at the other end," he said. "You've got to rely on the referees to get the major decisions right and he has probably got two wrong there. You can't rely on them all the time but with the two decisions that have gone against us, we can feel hard done by."

"I know we never really got started the second half," Miller said, "and kind of felt we were just waiting for them to score so we're disappointed with that, but when you get your nose back in front again and you lose a goal the way we did, it's like Italy from three years ago."

In November 2007 Scotland lost a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier to Italy at Hampden Park, after a controversial stoppage time winner by Christian Panucci.

Before Saturday, qualification without winning that match would have been difficult to envisage. Therefore, Miller was frustrated to draw, especially in those circumstances. "We always said the next three games were crucial, particularly this game because it gave us the opportunity to beat them and get points back on them," he said. "We're disappointed at the fact that it's maybe refereeing decisions again that has cost us. It's very frustrating, particularly when I think it has been clear that the decisions have been wrong."

Scotland host Lithuania at Hampden tomorrow, but they are still five points behind the second-placed Czechs, albeit with one game in hand. Miller will be suspended after receiving a second-half booking on Saturday. "I can't remember when I got booked so I never thought I would miss it, so I'm very disappointed," Miller added. "It was harsh again. There was nothing in it. It's a soft booking, there is no doubt about it."