Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor on 5-1 defeat against Germany: It was an EMBARRASSMENT!

Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor on 5-1 defeat against Germany: It was an EMBARRASSMENT!

Callum McGregor admits he was embarrassed by Scotland’s performance in their opening night hammering by Germany.

Euro 2024 began in the worst possible fashion for Steve Clarke’s side as they slipped to a chastening 5-1 defeat, having conceded three goals and lost Ryan Porteous to a red card before half-time.

The Scots managed only 27 per cent possession and failed to muster a shot on target or win a corner over the 90 minutes.

Humbled by the brilliance of Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz and Toni Kroos, McGregor refused to look for any silver linings, admitting: ‘Embarrassment is the word I was thinking after the game.

‘I didn’t say it to anyone because it was too raw in the moment. But that is the word I had in my head on my way off the pitch.

Euro 2024 began in the worst possible fashion for Scotland side as they slipped to a 5-1 defeat 

Midfielder Callum McGregor admits he was embarrassed by his team's performance on Friday

Midfielder Callum McGregor admits he was embarrassed by his team’s performance on Friday

‘You work so hard to get to this level and then we didn’t do ourselves justice. That is what hurts the most.

‘You can go and you can play well and still lose to Germany. Let’s make no bones about it, they are a top team and will be there or thereabouts to win the tournament.

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‘But when you come off and there is a sense we did not do ourselves justice, you will probably have to live with that for ever.’

Clarke targeted four points from three games to reach the last 16 and there is little margin for error now. The Scots play Switzerland in Cologne on Wednesday and face a tough task if their 3-1 win over Hungary is anything to go by.

John McGinn warned his teammates that they need to sort themselves out at both ends of the field if they are to stand any chance of salvaging hopes of progressing to a knockout round for the first time in Scotland’s history.

Having romped through qualification with three games to spare, Scotland’s form has nosedived, with Gibraltar their only win in their last 10 matches.

Manager Steve Clarke targeted four points from three games to reach the last 16

Manager Steve Clarke targeted four points from three games to reach the last 16

That win was also the only clean sheet in that sequence, with 26 goals now conceded and just 12 scored. While McGinn acknowledges the defensive record must improve, the midfielder is equally concerned that the forwards no longer look like scoring.

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‘It’s easy to say that but myself, and others, are on a massive goal drought,’ said the Aston Villa man. ‘Collectively, you can’t point fingers at one or two players. As a group we need to improve.

‘We need to concede fewer goals and create more chances. I don’t think we had a shot, which is the worrying thing.

‘We know we can compete against these teams, we went toe-to-toe against Spain.

‘For a long time we weren’t on the end of these scorelines, so we need to get back to what we were doing, better and properly, and we are aware of that.

‘We have had bumps along the road so it’s up to us now, the older ones in the group, to keep us going and get ready for Wednesday.’ McGregor agreed. 

John McGinn warned his teammates that they need to sort themselves out at both end of the pitch if they're to stand a chance

John McGinn warned his teammates that they need to sort themselves out at both end of the pitch if they’re to stand a chance 

‘It is about trying to rectify that game,’ the Celtic captain said. ‘You will never be able to rectify the result but if you can get yourself out of the group then it diminishes. Then in 10 or 15 years’ time people will say they got out of the group and achieved something great.’

McGregor refused to attribute any blame for the loss on Porteous after his terrible two-footed lunge on Ilkay Gundogan conceded the penalty which gifted the Germans a third goal.

‘Everyone can make mistakes in every walk of life. It’s an honest tackle, probably a bit too heavy for the UEFA guys, and then ultimately we are down to 10 men and it’s a difficult night. None of the players will be labelling anything at him.

‘It is difficult when you have disappointment in life, you have to try and get over that.’

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