Scotland 1 Lithuania 1: Hull City's Andrew Robertson staying positive despite Hampden setback
It took an 89th-minute leveller from substitute James McArthur to rescue the Scots in their World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park, after Fedor Cernych had fired the visitors into a shock lead on the hour mark.
Gordon Strachan’s side travel to Slovakia for matchday three tomorrow night and the Tigers left-back, voted man of the match against the Lithuanians, is pleased there is no time to dwell on two lost points.
“In a league or in internationals, if you have a game in three days it is perfect because the boys can get over it,” he said. “We are focused on Slovakia already and that has got to be the case because if you dwell on this result it will end up being a negative one on Tuesday and that’s how it works.
“We have experience from that at club level, from the Championship and Premier League and the SPFL, playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday so I am sure the boys will get their head round what has happened and move on to Tuesday.”
Not that Robertson felt the draw was a particularly bad result for Scotland.
With Slovenia beating second seeds Slovakia 1-0 it meant that the Scots remain in second place in Group F with four points from two games, behind England who beat Malta 2-0 at Wembley.
The former Dundee United player said: “We got a point at the end and we won’t know if it is a good result, a bad result or just a decent result until the end of the group.
“Slovenia beat Slovakia so we are still in second place with four points and the second seeds are sitting on none from two games.
“But we have them next and they will want to put that right and we will obviously want to put Saturday night right, so it will be a big game on Tuesday.
“The away games you need to try to be positive. Yes, it would be great to win but if we get a positive result we will take it, you just never know until the end of the campaign.”
Robertson insists there was no surprise at how the well-organised Lithuania side played at Hampden in game that left him with a feeling of frustration.
He said: “The manager warned us all week, saying ‘look they are no mugs, they are a very good team’ and we watched clips of them, we knew their danger men and I thought they did play well.
“They had a shape behind the ball and it was difficult to break down and when they went forward they looked dangerous but we probably were a bit sloppy in the first half.”
Strachan felt his side’s second-half display was the best they had played for some time.
Most of Scotland’s chances came from Robertson’s overlaps. His Hull team-mate Robert Snodgrass and Chris Martin came close before substitute James Forrest missed a great chance.
But Scotland looked to have run out of time and ideas, especially after substitute Leigh Griffiths sent a free header straight at the goalkeeper, only for McArthur to pounce.
Strachan said: “I thought the first half was a game like the English Championship where the ball got smacked from one end to the other, basically a game of knock-ons, knockdowns, who wins it.
“And it’s very hard to play when the ball’s in the air a lot, you need to be really brave and really on top of your form to deal with that type of football. At times we did, made a couple of chances.
“Second half, we played really well – best we have played for a long time. It was exciting stuff at times and to drag themselves back after that body blow was terrific. I congratulate the lads on that and for going for it.”
Scotland: Marshall, Paterson, Russell Martin, Hanley, Robertson, Snodgrass, Bannan, Darren Fletcher (McArthur 46), Ritchie (Griffiths 71), Burke (Forrest 57), Chris Martin. Unused substitutes: Gordon, Morrison, Maloney, Anya, Steven Fletcher, Berra, Wallace, Tierney, Hamilton.
Lithuania: Setkus, Vaitkunas, Freidgeimas, Girdvainis, Slavickas (Andriuskevicius 63), Cernych, Zulpa (Chvedukas 65), Kuklys, Novikovas, Valskis (Grigaravicius 85), Slivka.Unused substitutes: Zubas, Klimavicius, Mikuckis, Cesnauskis, Matulevicius, Verbickas, Paulius, Luksa, Klevinskas.
Referee: T Stieler (Germany).