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Levein hails Scotch spirit despite draw

Scotland manager Craig Levein admitted there was plenty of room for improvement following the goalless draw in Lithuania -- but he feels his players' effort has restored some pride in the national team.

Scotland failed to emulate their previous European Championship start, when they won 2-1 in Kaunas, but were superior in every department other than finishing.

"It's not the end of the world -- we were the better side and just lacked a goal," Levein said.

"The biggest plus factor was the effort the players put in. It was important we showed everyone over here and back home that we really are proud to be involved in the Scottish national team."

Levein would no doubt have been content had someone told him before his first competitive match in charge that his side would create a handful of decent opportunities.

The best arguably came four minutes after the interval when Kenny Miller headed straight at the goalkeeper from 12 yards.

"We had opportunities to win the game," said Levein. "Coming away from home in this competition is always difficult and all we lacked for our effort was a goal.

"I know we can play much better.

"But I was really pleased with our effort and it's something for us to work on."



Toshack loses it over injury

John Toshack feared for Wales' Euro 2012 hopes after a defeat in Montenegro that left him seething about an injury to key player James Collins.

Aston Villa defender Collins went to hospital for an X-ray last night after apparently being elbowed in the face in the second half of a 1-0 loss in Podgorica.

The result was a disappointing start to a qualifying campaign which Wales had entered with much hope, and the Collins incident, after a clash with Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic, exacerbated Toshack's woe.

"I don't think you get a fractured jaw or a broken nose or an eye in the condition his is by falling over on the floor," said Toshack.

The loss itself was bad enough for Toshack, who now feels his side must beat Bulgaria next month to have any chance of qualifying from a group that also includes England and Switzerland.


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