Scotland must not allow culture of failure says Craig Brown

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The Independent Football

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown has warned the current national team must not allow themselves to be drawn into a culture where failure is the accepted norm.

Last night's 3-1 defeat to world champions Spain in Alicante ended Scotland's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012, meaning they still have not been to a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.

Scotland will face Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales in their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup, and Brown believes Craig Levein's team have a strong chance of making it through to the finals in Brazil.

But he suggested last night's loss was "another glorious failure", with results in earlier qualifiers the main reason for Scotland missing out again.

Brown insists the players must show mental strength as well as footballing ability to achieve their ambitions.

"There should be no place for failure in the mentality of players," Brown told BBC Radio Five Live. "The fans are now beginning to accept failure, which is surprising.

"The Tartan Army definitely deserves to go to a major tournament. I'm hoping and praying it will be the next one, the World Cup."

Brown expects Scotland to be back on the major stage at some point.

"Obviously yes, the law of averages says yes," he said. "I was lucky. From '86 to '98 I was at five major tournaments with Scotland.

"It just became accepted we were going. I was lucky to be at three World Cups and two European Championships. Now we're struggling to get to either of those.

"I genuinely think this team which is emerging at the moment is good enough to qualify for the World Cup."

Brighton striker Craig Mackail-Smith impressed as the main striker against Spain in the absence of the injured Kenny Miller.

"He's an energetic guy," Brown said. "We thought we'd miss Kenny Miller for his energy and enthusiasm up front, but Craig Mackail-Smith certainly has the same qualities as Miller.

"Now I'd love to see both of them up front. It would be difficult to defend against these guys."