Scotland 'heading in right direction' under Alex McLeish says winger Ryan Fraser

By Liam McLeodBBC Scotland
Kenny McLean
Kenny McLean heads Scotland's opener in San Marino with his first international goal

Scotland are "heading in the right direction" under Alex McLeish despite the rocky start to Euro 2020 qualification, says winger Ryan Fraser.

The national team and manager McLeish were booed by away fans during Sunday's 2-0 win in San Marino, the side who are bottom of the world rankings.

Scotland began Group I with a 3-0 loss at 117-ranked Kazakhstan on Thursday.

"As players we believe in ourselves and we're sticking together with the management and staff," Fraser said.

Scotland opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Kenny McLean, but took until the 74th minute to add a second goal through Johnny Russell.

"People probably won't agree with me, but I thought we dealt with it well," added Fraser. "The fans wanted more goals, but we kept the ball well and it could have been 4-0 or 5-0 if we'd taken our chances."

The 25-year-old Bournemouth winger, who started in San Marino after being excused from turning out on the Kazakhs' plastic pitch, believes McLeish can still guide Scotland to next summer's finals.

And he says the fans' frustration did not affect the players during Sunday's win.

"Of course we still have a chance to qualify," Fraser added. "You can't just write off the campaign because you've lost one game. We're heading in the right direction.

"It's not nice. You never want to be booed as a player, you've got to have a thick skin. If you're going to play badly and moan about it, you shouldn't be a footballer. We played our own game and didn't listen to the noise."

Callum Paterson
Scotland striker Callum Paterson on crutches as he arrives back at Glasgow Airport

'Enjoy the pressure'

Scotland scorer McLean says the players should "enjoy" the pressure of carrying the nation's hopes.

The Norwich City midfielder's diving header in San Marino was his first international goal, but he says the performance was not acceptable.

"We weren't good enough at times and the fans are going to have a go, it's something you need to deal with," McLean said.

"You just need to block it out and focus on what you're doing on the pitch. People have spoken about the pressure put on us, but we're privileged to be playing for our country and need to enjoy that pressure."

Everyone is 'absolutely raging' - analysis

Steven Thompson on Sportscene

It feels funny to have won 2-0 and everyone is absolutely raging. But the performance, that was the problem. There had to be a big performance after Thursday night's shambles and it just didn't come.

We got the early goal, which is what we wanted. But then we just weren't ruthless enough and it got a wee bit edgy. We made it harder than it should have been.

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