WC Qual - UEFA

October 16, 2012



2 - 0


Group A

18:45 +00:00, October 16, 2012

Koning Boudewijn Stadion, Belgium

Referee: Morales Ovalle, Mauricio Rafael

Levein refuses to walk away

Craig Levein refused to walk away from his job as Scotland manager after watching his side crash to the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.

•  Derek Rae: Little wiggle room for Levein

The Scots headed into their clash with Belgium knowing they needed a victory in Brussels to have any real hope of salvaging an ailing campaign.

A win would also have eased the pressure that has been mounting on the manager following home draws against Serbia and Macedonia last month and Friday's loss in Wales. Instead, goals from Christian Benteke and Vincent Kompany handed the Belgians a 2-0 win to leave Scotland's hopes of reaching Brazil in 2014 in tatters.

Asked if he would consider his position, Levein said afterwards: "Not at all. I'm very proud to be the Scotland national team manager and I want to continue to do so.

"I've been in football for long enough to understand when the players are trying at their maximum and they're doing their best for each other and for the team - and they did that tonight and on Friday night.

"They didn't have any energy left at the end of the match and they did everything possible to get a result for Scotland tonight. I've seen again tonight a group of players who are determined and hungry and desperate to do well for Scotland.

"As long as that is the case, I'm quite happy to be working with these players."

Of course, the decision could be taken out of Levein's hands by his bosses at the Scottish Football Association.

He added: "All I can tell you is that I want to remain as the manager - that's what I want to do. Other than that, you will have to ask other people the questions you are asking me.

"As far as I am aware, I'm still doing my job so you would have to ask other people the questions. It's impossible for me to answer. I'm interested in staying in the job and working hard to improve things."

The result means Scotland are the only team in Group A without a win and Levein conceded that hopes of qualification were already all but over.

He said: "It looks very difficult. We are sitting with two points out of 12."

Levein acknowledged an improvement is needed and cited the Belgians as a perfect example of what can be achieved by a small nation.

And, as far as he is concerned, he still has the desire to work with the players and continue the progression he believes has been evident since he took over the helm almost three years ago.

Levein said: "We are looking at a situation where we have to improve as a nation, as a country, in our production of football players. Belgium are a perfect example. If you put a system in place and stick with it, then you have an opportunity to produce the quality of players that we were playing against tonight.

"That's something that I feel is really important. I'll do the absolute best that I can with the players we've got. They're doing their best for me, they're doing their best for the country, and, as far as I'm concerned, 100%, I want to work with them."