Scotland: Blame players for Craig Levein sacking - Kenny Miller

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Interview - Scotland striker Kenny Miller

International friendly: Luxembourg v Scotland

Venue:
Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City
Date:
Wednesday 14 November
Kick-off:
19:15 GMT
Coverage:
BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website

Kenny Miller says Scotland's players must take the blame for Craig Levein losing his job as national coach.

Levein was sacked last week after a poor start to the World Cup campaign.

"A few of us have come out and said we felt we let the manager down with the performances in the first four games," said striker Miller.

"We're disappointed because we enjoyed working with Craig. We did feel we were going the right way, but we know results weren't good enough."

Scotland Under-21 boss Billy Stark has been put in interim charge of the senior squad for Wednesday's friendly in Luxembourg.

"We did genuinely feel that the right man was at the helm," said Miller.

"Me personally, I was as optimistic as ever going into this group thinking we've got a good team here and it's a group where I think a lot of teams will take points off one another.

"We felt we had everything in place to go and have a right good campaign. The squad was there, the spirit was there, there was a great atmosphere within the players and the coaches.

"Unfortunately, we have not gone out and got the results that would allow that to continue.

"But, in football, these things happen. You've got to move and we've got a job to do now."

The Scotland baton has passed from Levein to Stark for the trip to Luxembourg
The Scotland baton has passed from Levein to Stark for the trip to Luxembourg

Some club managers have again questioned the need for international friendlies and the Scots' build-up has been hampered by .

However, Miller, whose close season with Vancouver Whitecaps has just began, thinks the trip to Luxembourg comes at a vital time.

"After our poor start to the campaign, we've got two games, one now and one in February, to hopefully get a bit of confidence going into the qualifiers in March," said the 32-year-old, who insists he has no thoughts of retiring from international football.

"It is the usual friendly date in November, but obviously, with the call-offs, it gives younger lads who are maybe on the fringes and doing very well at their clubs to make a stake for a place in the squad.

"With Billy coming in as well, it's a new-look squad, a new-look team are taking the squad and I think it is important first and foremost that we win the game.

"There's always call-offs in the national set-up, particularly for friendlies, when you look at the lads who are playing Champions League and playing midweek games and weekends and people needing a bit of a rest."

Miller's former manager at Celtic, Gordon Strachan, has emerged as favourite to take over as national coach.

"Gordon has done a great job at many of the clubs he's been at, none more so than Celtic," added the striker.

"He's obviously been tipped as favourite for the job and I'm sure he's very passionate about the national team, he's been capped many times as a player and I'm sure it's a role he would welcome."

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