Alex McLeish praises seven Scotland debutants

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Alex McLeish has said that he is pleased with the performances of seven Scotland debutants following their 2-0 defeat to Peru.

Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer, full-backs Lewis Stevenson and Steven O’Donnell and midfielder Dylan McGeouch all started for Scotland with Graeme Shinnie, Lewis Morgan and Chris Cadden coming off the bench in the second half.

Christian Cueva put Peru ahead from the penalty spot after Scott McKenna’s handball before Jefferson Farfan struck low past Archer.

“I’m proud of the mentality they showed in a cauldron of a place. They embraced it,” McLeish told BBC Sport.

“Bringing these guys into the team for the first time, in your head being anxious about hoping they don’t make big mistakes, and they handled it really well. It was hot out on the surface, especially when you’re doing a lot of chasing around, which the Peruvians made us do.”

“I was very pleased with the first half, we really contained them. They’re a super team, they move it about well and they know each other inside out, the movement, the strength of them, their individual skills.

“To lose the goal the way we did just before half-time was a shame. I was pleased with the guys despite all the call-offs we’ve had, bringing new guys in. They have to be allowed to make a mistake or two. I’m gutted, I was really disappointed to see the first goal go in, it was very basic, one man runs into the box in behind. We knew Farfan did that, we showed the players, but we got sucked out at a vital moment and that proved costly for us.

“The players were very well organised, we had some really good displays on the defensive side. Working out how to get ourselves into goalscoring situations is the main key for us.”

Scotland now travel to Mexico for another friendly on Saturday.

Cover Photo: Flag of Scotland by Christoph Strassler used under license by CC BY-SA 2.0.

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