Craig Levein plans to stay on as Scotland coach

Media playback is not supported on this device

Levein 'encouraged' by Scotland progress

Craig Levein says a 3-1 defeat by Spain and failure to qualify for Euro 2012 has no bearing on his future as Scotland coach.

And it is believed that the Scottish Football Association has no plans to remove the 46-year-old from his post.

"I think there's every reason for people to think we're going to get better," Levein told BBC Scotland.

"I'm happy with how we're progressing. It was a tall order, but Spain were at the top of their game."

Defeat by the world champions, and the Czech Republic's 4-1 win over Lithuania, means Scotland finish third in Group I.

But Levein's position will not be reviewed by the SFA and the former Dundee United, Leicester City and Hearts boss now wants to concentrate on taking Scotland to the World Cup finals in Brazil.

"I'm enjoying my job," he added. "This was a fantastic occasion and being manager of the Scottish national team is something I'm extremely proud of.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't get anything from the game, but in keeping with the second half of the campaign, I see a lot of positives things."

Levein was criticised for adopting a 4-6-0 formation earlier in the campaign in their defeat by Czech Republic in Prague but does not believe that decision was the crucial factor in their failure to qualify.

"We lost 1-0 away from home against a team who were ranked higher than us," said Levein, preferring to refer to the 2-2 draw with the Czechs at Hampden.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Spain 'unplayable' - Naismith

"I'd much rather look at a situation at home where we had a penalty given against us.

"If you want to look at any situation and say that's where it changed, it was at home to the Czech Republic.

"If things go our way as they should have done that night, we've got the second spot.

"It wasn't really until after the first round of games that we hit any pattern or stride and, since then, we have shown gradual improvement.

"I probably feel if we had more games before the first competitive match, that might have helped."

Scotland forward Steven Naismith conceded Spain had been too good for his side.

"They're unplayable," he said. "They move the ball so quickly, it's hard to track the ball.

"We could have defended a little better, but that's why they're world and European champions.

"But, over 90 minutes and two games against them, we showed up well and scored three goals."

Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque thought the Scots were better than the side that lost 3-2 last year despite Levein's coming back from two goals down to level at one stage.

"Scotland have improved from the first game at Hampden," he said. "They are more stable.

"I watched them in Liechtenstein and they were very good, but I think the heat affected them.

"The first half tonight was organised, but there were more opportunities in the second half."

Top Stories