Scotland forward Oli McBurnie has urged the Tartan Army to keep faith with the national team and manager Alex McLeish.
Pressure has mounted on McLeish in recent days after the Scots suffered back-to-back defeats in last week’s double header, with last Thursday’s 2-1 Uefa Nations League defeat to Israel followed by a 3-1 friendly loss to Portugal three days later.
Sunday’s home friendly against the Euro 2016 champions attracted less than 20,000 supporters to Hampden Park, with around 3,000 sold tickets unused.
Swansea City attacker McBurnie is demanding patience from the Scottish fans, with their hopes of securing a play-off place for Euro 2020 through winning their Nations League section now resting solely on next month’s matches away to Albania and at home to Israel.
McBurnie said: “It’s obviously frustrating for the supporters when we are not picking up the results that we want. We want to win the games as well. It’s not like we want to go into the games and lose them.
“I would just say to stick with us. Hopefully, they could see a little bit of improvement in the game against Portugal. Some of the stuff we were playing was almost worlds apart compared with the other night in Israel.
“Obviously the boys beat Albania last month and we know in ourselves we didn’t really turn up to the game against Israel.
“It’s down to us to show that we can. There were building blocks there against Portugal that we can improve on and it’s down to us to try and do the business.
“It’s definitely a project and a progression and we need a bit of time. Hopefully next month we will build on this.”
Leeds-born McBurnie, who was raised by a Scottish family, has won six caps since being drafted into the Scots’ squad for the first time by McLeish earlier this year.
Although he has yet to find the net, McBurnie is eager to repay McLeish’s faith in him, adding: “He is the first manager to call me up and has called me up for every single squad since then.
“For me, I can’t thank him enough. I will always be grateful to him for that and, of course, I want to prove him right as well.
“I just need to score goals. That always helps as a striker. We are playing well at Swansea at the minute and getting some good results. So I am sure scoring a few goals would help my case.
“The Portugal game was the first time me and Steven Naismith have ever played together. I think we had only trained together once before.
“Obviously it is going to be hard. We don’t know each other’s games and things like that, but the more we play together the more understanding we will have.”