Scotland midfielder James McArthur admits players let Gordon Strachan and fans down in Italy defeat



Scotland midfielder James McArthur insists the players are guilty of letting down both manager Gordon Strachan and the fans in Sunday’s dispiriting defeat to Italy.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle scored the only goal in the second half but the narrow margin of the victory did not tell the whole story.

(Pic: Ronnie MacDonald)
(Pic: Ronnie MacDonald)

Euro Championship-bound Italy dominated throughout the 90 minutes and Scotland had goalkeeper David Marshall to thank for keeping the scoreline respectable.

Crystal Palace midfielder McArthur, who collected his 23rd cap, said: “Everyone’s let the manager and the fans down.

“There’s a lot of fans travelled here and we’ve not performed anywhere near where we should be.

“We came up against a side that has top-quality players and we didn’t perform.

“We need to analyse it and see where we could have done better.

“They’re top-quality players, very well organised and they opened us up at times, which is to be expected, but I think we made it a bit too easy for them.”

Former Hamilton and Wigan playmaker McArthur is hoping for a marked improvement when Scotland come up against Euro 2016 hosts France in Metz on Saturday.

He added: “We’re going to have to play the best we’ve played in a long, long time to create a shock.

”We’ll have to play a lot better than we did.

“The most disappointing thing was losing in the manner we did. We obviously hung in there and kept it down to 1-0, but we weren’t near the level we wanted to be at.”