Alex McLeish 'must stay on' as Scotland manager - Craig Brown

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Alex McLeish must stay on as Scotland manager

Scotland manager Alex McLeish can recover from a 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan and seal a place at Euro 2020, says former national boss Craig Brown.

There have been calls for McLeish to stand down after a sobering opening campaign loss to the team ranked 117th in the world.

"It's a poor start but we can lose one game and qualify - and I think he can," Brown told BBC Sportsound.

"I definitely don't think it's a sacking offence. He must stay on."

Scotland move on to San Marino on Sunday, where they will be meeting the team at the bottom of the world rankings.

Belgium, Russia and Cyprus make up the rest of Group I, with the top two qualifying automatically.

Should they fail to progress via the group, Scotland have the safety net of a play-off after winning their Nations League section last year.

"Alex McLeish is a very good manager," added Brown, who spent eight years in charge after eight years as the assistant to Andy Roxburgh. "He won seven from his 10 games in his spell with Scotland - that's the best record ever - and he has got us in the play-off."

Scotland last reached a major finals in 1998, with former Aberdeen and Motherwell boss Brown at the helm and he puts much of that success down to defensive solidity.

"Against Kazakhstan we had a goalkeeper and back four with 17 caps between them," he said.

"We lost three goals in 10 qualifying games for Euro 96 and when we reached the World Cup. If you want to win internationals, you don't concede goals."

'Scotland looked devoid of ideas'

Former Scotland striker Kenny Miller agreed that it is too early to be calling for the manager's head, with McLeish 11 games into his second spell.

"I don't believe he will be sacked, or should be sacked," said the Dundee forward.

"We've got a good group of hungry young players, who are capable of a lot better. For me, we looked devoid of ideas in Kazakhstan.

"In defence of Alex, who would have picked a different team after the call-offs? Maybe a couple of changes. The problem is we never performed."

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