Appraisal of Scotland team has to 'be more balanced', says Ian Maxwell

Ian Maxwell and Steve Clarke
Ian Maxwell praised Steve Clarke for moving Scotland up the seedings pots for qualifying draws

Appraising Scotland's team needs to be "more balanced", says Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell.

Steve Clarke's side were heavily criticised after losing their World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine.

And wins over Armenia sandwiched a 3-0 loss away to Republic of Ireland to put the Scots second at the halfway stage of their their Nations League campaign.

"I can understand the frustration from losing that game," said Maxwell in reference to the Ukraine tie.

"There was obviously huge disappointment in terms of the result and the performance around about the Ukraine game. That disappointment's a sign of the expectation now that people do expect us to qualify for major tournaments because we have such a good squad.

"We live in a world now where people want things to change instantly. We need to be more balanced about that and look at the progress that the team's made over a period of time."

'We have won a lot of games'

Scotland secured their play-off place after finishing second in qualifying with eight wins out of 10.

Finishing top of their Nations League group later this year would secure a play-off path should Scotland not be successful in their Euro 2024 qualifying group.

"We have won a lot of games," Maxwell told BBC Scotland. "We appointed Steve, we wanted him to make a pot four team a pot two team (in seeding) and that's what he did in the World Cup qualifying programme.

"We need to look forward to that happening again in the Euros and hopefully ultimately ending in us qualifying for Germany."

Maxwell was speaking on the day of the SFA's annual general meeting and said the organisation is "definitely on the right track" following strong revenue in 2021.

And the chief executive told the media that VAR is "on course" to be introduced in the Scottish Premiership midway through the 2022-23 campaign, after the conclusion of the Qatar World Cup.

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