Teams /  Sweden  / Sweden 
Sweden have 875 Fans
Darren Fletcher: Sweden defeat a 'kick up the backside' for Scotland
Ewan Murray - 4 years ago

Darren Fletcher is unaccustomed to being on the wrong end of intermittent drubbings. The Manchester United midfielder, though, has admitted that last night's 3-0 defeat while on duty for Scotland in Sweden had an air of familiarity about it. Fletcher, who captained the Scots, joined the manager Craig Levein in pointing out within their dressing room in Stockholm that performances must improve.

Exactly a year ago, Fletcher was part of a Scotland side who lost 4-0 to Norway in Oslo. "It was similar to that," Fletcher said. "We lost an early goal in that game as we did against Sweden, and you always leave gaps when you're chasing the game. The manager obviously let us know that it was not acceptable and the more experienced players know that we can't defend like that, that we've got to talk, we've got to track back. It wasn't just about the defence. It was about everyone."

The 26-year-old also feared Sweden's margin of victory could have been wider. "Yes, of course," Fletcher said. "When you lose an early goal you've always got to compose yourselves, get back to basics and get back to defending. We didn't do that. It took us a good 15 minutes to settle into the game and by then it was almost too late."

The shred of consolation for Fletcher and his team-mates was that the game was only a friendly. The more serious stuff starts for Levein early next month, with back-to-back European Championship qualifying matches against Lithuania and Liechtenstein.

"Luckily, Sweden wasn't a qualifier," Fletcher added. "Nobody likes losing but maybe it's a kick up the backside ahead of these two important qualifiers. The biggest thing we've got to learn from this is that away from home you've got to make it tight, you've got to make teams earn their goals – and we didn't do that. We gave away sloppy goals – especially the first two – and chasing a game away from home is very difficult.

"The game plan has got to be to keep it tight, frustrate the home team and make their fans get on top of them. So we have to learn from the mistakes against Sweden and quickly because we've got these two qualifiers coming up. It was said at half-time and at full-time that we have to learn from what happened in Sweden. We have to do better in the qualifiers."

Allan McGregor's performance in the Scotland goal – on what was obviously a busy evening – was hailed by Levein as "excellent" following his return from the Boozegate scandal to deputise for the injured Craig Gordon.

"We knew he was top-class and his performance was exceptional," Fletcher said. "We know that if Craig's not there the manager has two top-class goalkeepers, who we're very fortunate to have."

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

TVbytheNumbers - Yesterday
Note: ABC was pre-empted in Philadelphia, CBS was preempted in Pittsburgh and NBC was preempted in Indianapolis and Jacksonville for NFL preseason football. CBS, NBC and ABC's ratings are likely to change in the finals. CBS was number one among ...
Sportskeeda - 1 week ago
Zlatan Ibrahimpvic's may be a hard player to deal with at times, but his compassion knows no bounds. Sweden's national football team for the intellectually disabled had qualified for the INAS World Cup – an international football tournament for ...
Football Italia - 3 weeks ago
Torino beat Brommapojkarna 3-0 in Sweden this evening in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round clash. Giampiero Ventura named his strongest possible line-up for the clash in Stockholm as the Toro looked to get their European ...
The Guardian - 6 hours ago
But the Sweden striker's absence because of a left oblique muscle injury allowed Cavani to play as a centre-forward, his favoured position. Cavani had two clear-cut chances. He collected a through-ball from Lucas Moura in the 27th minute and cut inside ...
The Guardian - Yesterday
A spokesman for TV4, Anders Edholm, told the Associated Press that producers have apologised to Costa Rica's ambassador to Sweden and Norway, and assured him the network would not air the trailer after the first episode of the series was broadcast on ...
Liberal Democrats - 1 day ago
Safe standing already operates in domestic leagues across Europe, including Germany, Austria and Sweden. 70% of UK football clubs support safe standing and fans say standing provides a better atmosphere. Introducing safe standing would also cut the ...
AINA - 21 hours ago
The club grew so large that FIFA's official website and a Japanese newspaper wrote about the first immigrant team in the Swedish elite football, and how it shimmered in the spotlight. In Turkey, Dr. Mehmet Celik could not hold back his rage in a ...
Variety - Yesterday
Also holding steady with its early estimates was NBC comedy “Welcome to Sweden” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.32 million viewers overall at 9 and 0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.99 million viewers overall at 9:30). Of note in cable, Lifetime's “Project Runway” hit a ... It's ...
BackPageFootball - 8 hours ago
For all Powell has done for the pedigree of women's football in England – her influence on the rise of national team should never be undervalued – there was a nagging feeling that the situation had begun to grow stale with several reports indicating ...
McPherson Sentinel - 13 hours ago
With all the uncertainty, it was no surprise that the Swedes struggled on the field, as they finished 2-9 overall and 1-8 in the KCAC. That one in the KCAC turned out to be a huge confidence booster for Bethany, however, as they stunned then-NAIA No. 7 ...

Latest Photo Galleries

Euro 2008 Group D final games
6 years ago
All the best pictures from the Russia v Sweden and Greece v Spain
Kick4Life - changing lives through football