Kenny McLean: Critics wrong to say Scottish football devoid of talent

Scotland midfielder Kenny McLean feels the new-look international side proved there is talent in the domestic scene during their narrow friendly defeat by Holland.

Nine players who ply their trade in the Ladbrokes Premiership started at Pittodrie on Thursday night and Scotland created a number of promising opportunities, but were undermined by their lack of striking options with Leigh Griffiths injured.

The Scots looked compact and comfortable when Holland enjoyed long spells of possession but were undone by a 40th-minute counter-attack when Memphis Depay netted from what looked an offside position.

The performance, if not the result, proved a riposte to the likes of former Scotland striker Kris Boyd, who rubbished the international credentials of newcomers such as Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Christie and Ryan Jack of Rangers, both of whom made their debuts alongside Celtic’s Callum McGregor.

Aberdeen midfielder McLean said: “People have their opinions, that’s fine, and you just need to deal with that. Maybe he’s right, I don’t know. But the ones that are picked just need to give their all and that’s we did. As long as I’m picked I’ll give everything.

“There is absolutely talent across the Scottish league. There’s plenty of Scottish boys playing down the road as well that have got so much quality, but there is more quality in this league than people give credit for. I think we showed that against a top-quality Dutch side.”

The next Scotland squad might be very different given that Malky Mackay has been told to return to his day job of Scottish Football Association performance director following one match in caretaker charge.

The SFA board members are taking their time over appointing a permanent successor to Gordon Strachan, with their next game likely to be in March. Talks are being held over playing Morocco away from home.

But McLean feels there are plenty of options for the new man to choose from.

The 25-year-old, who won his second cap, said: “Whoever takes charge can see that there is plenty of quality across the country, even boys that weren’t here. There is plenty to pick from and throughout the week the quality was there in abundance. There was a lot of young boys there as well so it’s really exciting for the future.

“It was a good night’s work. A disappointing result, we always wanted to win, friendly or not, but it was a good workout against a very good team. We created plenty of chances and should have got something from the game, but it was great to be involved in.

“It was a new squad, most of the boys hadn’t played together, but I thought we were excellent. One lapse in concentration and a team like that will punish you, but it’s something we will learn from.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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