Webster defends Scotland against 'sceptical reports'

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The Independent Football

The hearts' defender Andy Webster yesterday became the latest Scotland player to speak out against critics of the national side.

The hearts' defender Andy Webster yesterday became the latest Scotland player to speak out against critics of the national side.

On Sunday, Everton and Scotland's James McFadden had hit out at the television pundit and former international Charlie Nicholas after the 4-1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. Subsequently the Scotland coach, Berti Vogts, refused to do a post-match interview after being riled by comments.

Webster said that all the critics had gone overboard in recent weeks. "There have been a lot of sceptical reports criticising the boys and the coaching staff," he said, "and it is starting to wear a bit thin.

"It is not just down to one individual, there are a few. It is nice to play two games in a row and win the two games. Obviously I don't think Estonia and Trinidad and Tobago are the hardest opposition but the boss has gone about things the right way."

The Former Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh agreed that Vogts can still do a job for the country despite not being his first choice to take over from Craig Brown. Vogts, who was reluctantly recommended by Roxburgh - now Uefa's technical director - and the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, almost three years ago, has struggled to win over the Scottish public.

Roxburgh said: "At the time, Alex Ferguson and myself were asked our views and they ran some names past us. When they did this we both commented on the Scottish names but we both said the same thing, that if [the Scottish FA] decide to go foreign, then clearly Berti was someone with a pedigree.

"I wished him all the best but I said to him that as a Scotsman I wished that he had had tartan blood, and he said he would have felt the same if it was a foreigner going to Germany.

"The timing was important. I think some of the people they wanted at the time were not available and they wanted someone with international experience or top-level experience.

"It is not an easy job, which is why you need someone who is very committed and very focused on what they are trying to do. Berti is trying his best to bring through another generation. He is very tough and he has that winning mentality and he is prepared to take all the flak and all the hassle that goes with it."

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