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Scots 'relieved' as late win eases Levein pressure

Lee McCulloch admits Scotland's players were relieved to scrape a 2-1 win against Liechtenstein for boss Craig Levein and prevent him being put under major pressure so early in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Questions would have been asked of Levein had Stephen McManus' 97th-minute winner not prevented the Scots from suffering one of their worst ever results at Hampden Park last night against a nation ranked 100 places lower.

Liechtenstein captain Mario Frick gave the visitors a shock lead, before Kenny Miller levelled for the home side.

Then, just when Scotland must have been about to give up hope of salvaging a win, McManus claimed the decisive goal deep into injury-time.

McCulloch said: "The players are relieved we got the win, for the group, for ourselves and for the manager as well. He is so organised and he puts his neck on the line at times and he's not scared to make a decision.

"The boys are just delighted they've got the win for him.

"I thought we dominated the game but they frustrated us, they sat in and made it hard for us to pass the ball around and we are just glad we got the goal in the end."

With Levein warning beforehand not to expect a glut of goals, McCulloch said there was never any chance of the players underestimating a nation ranked 141st in the world.

But he believes the expectations of others may have been too high.

He said: "We've still got to be positive. We didn't win 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, like everybody was saying we were going to do. But we've got the three points and we've got to take the positives out of the game.

"Everyone always underestimates opponents when they come to Hampden but we knew it was going to be a tough game, we knew they were going to make it difficult for us.

"They hit us with a goal and we went down 1-0. It would have been easy for us to crumble but I thought we showed great character to get the two goals back. We got the three points and we are top of the group just now."

Scotland face the Czech Republic -- who last night were beaten by Lithuania -- in their next qualifier.

Despite a far from convincing display, McCulloch believes there is no reason to fear their next double-header, which sees them face the Czechs and European and world champions Spain.

He said: "I don't think the next two games will be like the two we've had, especially the home game."


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