Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon feels his side are giving themselves little chance to compete in matches through the loss of soft goals.
Just three days on from their disastrous 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat in Israel, the Scots put in an improved showing in their friendly with Portugal but were unable to prevent a 3-1 loss at Hampden Park.
Although Gordon felt there were areas for encouragement, the Celtic player is concerned by the ease with which opposing teams are finding a way past Alex McLeish’s men.
Gordon said: “We’re obviously unhappy at the way we lost the goals. Other teams aren’t having to work hard for them but at least we didn’t give the opposition as many opportunities as we did in the previous game. However, when you give them up right in the middle of your goal, you’re going to be in trouble.
“Their second goal came from a free-kick routine which we knew they’d practised and we knew exactly what we had to do to defend it. We just didn’t carry it out properly.
“We always want to win and it was about trying to put in a good performance. There were a few positives we could take from it. At the same time, we’ve still lost three soft goals and we didn’t do a great deal to stop that happening. We can’t deny that.”
Gordon insists Scotland’s fate remains in their own hands ahead of their defining Nations League double header against Albania and Israel next month, adding: “There are two games left and, if we win both of them, then we’re through to the next stage – it’s as simple as that.
“That’s what we have to focus on – we need to lick our wounds from this defeat and then bounce back with two victories.”
McLeish has handed the gloves to Allan McGregor for the two competitive matches so far but Gordon has been given the nod for the two friendly matches against Belgium and Portugal, and the 35-year-old added: “That hasn’t been lost on me but that’s the situation and those are the games I’ve been asked to play in. We lost seven goals in those matches but when you play against the best teams in the world there’s every chance that that will happen.”