San Marino vs Scotland: Kenny McLean believes Scots will get fans back on side after boos mar victory

Goalscorer Kenny McLean admits Scotland fans were entitled to show their frustration against San Marino – but he is confident he and his team-mates will get them back onside.

Almost 3,000 travelling fans watched an uninspiring 2-0 victory in San Marino and many vented their frustration over the performance and earlier defeat in Kazakhstan.

The Scottish Football Association board bore the brunt of the anger but manager Alex McLeish and players were also on the receiving end.

Some fans booed during the game as Scotland laboured following McLean’s fourth-minute opener, and both half-time and full-time whistles were met with jeers after their team took until the 74th minute to get the cushion of a second goal through Johnny Russell.

But many more supporters stayed behind to applaud the players afterwards and McLean is confident the squad can come back fighting when they host Cyprus and travel to Belgium in their next two Euro 2020 qualifiers in June.

The Norwich midfielder said: “I know they showed their frustration but they are always excellent for us and you saw the numbers they travelled in. There were bodies in Kazakhstan, which is unbelievable really.

“They are entitled to the frustration they showed, we are frustrated, but of course we want them behind us. We know they will get behind us, we just need to put the performances in and take it from there.”

Scotland’s 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan looks even more disappointing after Russia went there and won 4-0, while Cyprus put five past San Marino in their opening Group I game.

But McLean insists the squad’s confidence will not be broken by their poor start to the campaign.

“We will come together again in the summer and regroup,” the 27-year-old said. “We will watch these games back and analyse them and just take it from there.

“We are confident going into any game. I know that we have not played well in the last couple of games and people are maybe writing us off but as a squad we know the quality we have got. Players are playing at a really good level.

“The last couple of games it has not quite clicked but we will get better, we know that. We will get better and we will continue fighting.”

Scotland applaud the visiting fans in San Marino (Reuters)

McLean, who missed four months of the season through an ankle injury, is confident Scotland have the character to bounce back.

The former St Mirren and Aberdeen player said: “We had excellent results in the the Nations League. I wasn’t involved but I watched the games and it was brilliant. The boys were excellent and the fans were right behind us.

“Everybody was on a high and then Kazakhstan did set us back a bit. But as footballers you need to go again. It’s something you are going to get right through your career, setbacks.

“We got the result in San Marino, just not in the manner we wanted, the performance wasn’t great. But we will meet up again in the summer and go from there.”


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