Football: THIS WAS BAD AS COSTA RICA; SAYS PAUL; McSTAY.(Sport)

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), September 8, 2002 | Go to article overview

Football: THIS WAS BAD AS COSTA RICA; SAYS PAUL; McSTAY.(Sport)


Byline: Euan McLean

SCOTLAND legend Paul McStay watched in horror yesterday as the Faroe Islands shocker brought memories of his own international humbling flooding back.

The midfield maestro knows how Berti Vogts' side are feeling because he was part of the Scotland team that lost to Costa Rica in the 1990 World Cup.

He reckons the embarrassing 2-2 draw in Toftir will be ranked among the worst results in Scottish football history - and warned the players they must be big enough to handle the criticism that's coming their way.

Here, writing exclusively for MailSport, Paul talks us through the way ahead for Berti's battered squad.

OVER the years Scotland have suffered bad results and this will be remembered among the worst.

I'm afraid I was involved with another of the infamous games, against Costa Rica, so I know what the players will endure when they arrive back to face the music.

One thing's for sure, the press and fans will hound them and how they handle the next seven days will be a test of character.

I still maintain Costa Rica were not a bad outfit but that 1-0 defeat we suffered in Italy was treated like a disaster.

I remember the day after that game one back page carried a picture of eight members of the team (myself included) with a Wanted sign above.

We were victimised for days and accused of lacking talent and commitment.

Players know when they haven't played well and sometimes the criticism is unfair. But Berti Vogts and his players must expect flak for yesterday - and rightly so, as there were very few positives.

The big danger for a player is that if you take it all on board and dwell on it for too long it can affect your confidence - you have to know when to draw the line and put it behind you.

I'd advise the guys to shut themselves away for a while then focus on getting back in the saddle with club football.

After Costa Rica we were helped by the fact we had another game to focus on a few days later against Sweden. …

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