Get back to playing 'the Scottish way' - Billy Brown

Billy Brown
Billy Brown says Scottish clubs do not attack enough

Billy Brown believes Scotland's clubs need to get back to playing "the Scottish way" if they are to avoid more humiliation in Europe.

Brown was at Tynecastle on Thursday to watch his old club Hearts lose 2-1 to Maltese side Birkirkara.

And he believes teams are no longer scared of facing Scottish sides.

"Nobody liked playing against Scotland because we played in a certain manner," Brown said. "Why don't we get back to our Scottish roots and have a go?"

As well as Hearts' Europa League second qualifying round exit, Edinburgh rivals Hibernian - another former employer of Brown's - were also knocked out by Brondby.

Birkirkara's Edward Herrera scores against Hearts
Hearts lost 2-1 to Birkirkara at Tynecastle

That leaves Celtic and Aberdeen as Scotland's representatives in Europe, but both have suffered solitary goal defeats in Gibraltar and Luxembourg along the way.

"To go out to a team from Malta is hard to take for Hearts," Brown told BBC Scotland.

"It shows you where we are when our champions can go to Gibraltar and get beat [1-0 by Lincoln Red Imps]. The standard without doubt has dropped.

"Football teams are about the players they've got, and I don't think we've got the players in this country. We're not good enough.

"It wasn't that many years ago we had Henrik Larsson in this country. Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup - world class players. We've not got anything like that now.

"We should be calling on the likes of Walter Smith, Archie Knox and Jim Jefferies to sit down and have a good look at how we produce players. They've all done it, they've all got players through to the first team."

Former East Fife manager Brown, who was assistant at Hearts in separate spells under Jefferies and Gary Locke as well as having a short period as Hibs assistant, says Scottish teams are too concerned with possession football rather than attacking and should go back to basics.

Hibernian players
Hibs joined Hearts in exiting the Europa League qualifiers

"We were physical, but we had wingers and we attacked people," he added. "We passed the ball forward into positions where we could score.

"Now it's all about keeping possession, it's more important than points. The teams that were scared to come to this country before aren't scared now.

"Some of the teams I watched last season, especially Celtic, they were absolutely atrocious. Passing for the sake of it.

"I think we're playing the wrong style of football. I think in three years' time everyone will be back to 4-4-2.

"We should play the Scottish way, let's get two strikers up the park, let's get wide men in there. People say it's old fashioned but when we were old fashioned we were winning. We're not winning now."

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