Andy Robertson: 'Some games as captain I've not been good enough'

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'We need a win to keep Euro hopes alive'
Euro 2020 qualifying, Group I: Scotland v Belgium
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Monday, 9 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app. Highlights: BBC Scotland 23:00

Scotland defender Andy Robertson says he is still "learning on the job" as captain as he deals with increased criticism of his performances.

The Liverpool left-back, 26, says he revels in having the armband, which he has held now for 12 months.

However, his display in Friday's 2-1 loss to Russia in Euro 2020 qualifying has led to much debate.

"Being criticised, rightly or wrongly, it's maybe stronger now that I'm captain," said Robertson.

"But these are things I'm made for. If people criticise me, it's fine. I'd prefer they didn't because it means I've put in a good performance - but sometimes that doesn't always go your way.

"Some games as captain I've not been good enough, some I have been, but that's me to look at my own performance. That's what I've looked at over the last few games.

"I don't like getting beaten anyway, but on Friday I maybe dwelled on it longer than usual. I've learned a lot. Good things and bad things."

Robertson was appointed captain by Alex McLeish last September and has kept the armband under present head coach Steve Clarke.

"I said a year ago what a big honour it was, that's not changed," Robertson added. "I'm delighted to be the captain of this country, I love doing it and I hope the lads think I'm doing a good job.

"There's also negatives that come along with it that I need to deal with and it's about learning how to deal with them. I think I'm getting better at that."

Robertson is no stranger to pressure having played in back-to-back Champions League finals, helping Liverpool lift the trophy in May.

And the former Queen's Park and Dundee United defender says the accusation that the players do not care as much about international football as they do about playing for their clubs is not true.

"The game still hurts," Robertson said of Friday's loss. "We were trying so hard to open this group up and get back on level terms with Russia, which was our aim. Now to be six points behind them is tough, but we need to go again because we've got no other option.

"There's no point in lying to each other. I believe we didn't perform to our full potential and, if we did, I believe we would have got a result. All the lads have been honest with each other and that can only be healthy.

"We did show we cared because we were desperate, probably too desperate for the result. That's why we started panicking in our decisions, but we now need to show bravery."

Andy Robertson since becoming Scotland captain

Players need to start 'enjoying' Scotland experience

Scotland face Belgium on Monday knowing only victory will realistically keep alive hopes of qualifying from Group I and reaching next summer's European Championship.

That is an imposing task with the Belgians arriving in Glasgow ranked first in the world.

"Rankings don't lie, they're the best team in the world," Robertson added. "To get that big result would be massive for us, but unfortunately in this campaign it would only be three points.

"It would open it up again, but we would still need another couple of big results. We need to try to get a result because, if we don't, I think it'll leave us too much to do.

"We need to go out and play with no fear and try and enjoy it, because I don't feel as if we look as if we're enjoying it as much as we probably should be. We're representing our country."

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