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Scotland better with four at the back, says McGinn

John McGinn is convinced Alex McLeish's side will be ready to go for their double-header.

Scotland midfielder John McGinn believes the national team reaped the rewards of a return to a back four against Portugal.

Manager Alex McLeish drew criticism after the Scots suffered a dismal defeat in Israel on Thursday having fielded five defenders from the start.

On Sunday, the Scots reverted to starting with four defenders for the visit of the European champions, with captain Andy Robertson in his favoured left-back slot.

While Portugal ran out 3-1 winners, McGinn drew the positives from Scotland's showing as they gear up for next month's crucial double-header.

Asked if the 4-2-3-1 tactic suited the players better, the Aston Villa playmaker said: "It felt like it tonight (Sunday).

"Playing in it, we looked a lot more solid, created a lot more chances, albeit we only took one right at the death.

"It was a much more positive performance but, at the same time, we know we gave away three silly goals which we need to cut out."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1431855-mcleish-next-two-scotland-games-are-like-cup-finals/ | default

Scotland's hopes of topping their Nations League group hang in the balance after the Haifa loss.

Having lost seven games in nine, McGinn admitted the team's confidence has taken a hit.

The ex-Hibs star insisted McLeish's men will be ready for action come their trip to Albania next month, however.

He added: "Thursday was a confidence shattering night, we didn't turn up and we know that.

"We had to restore a bit of pride and for long spells in the game we did that.

"We know how important these next two games are, we're back to our clubs now but in four weeks time we'll be ready for these games.

"As a football player you need to stand strong, puff your chest out and realise criticism will come, the same way praise does.

"We need to take the criticism, it's just part of it, you need to puff your chest out, show people what you're made of and I think for long periods we did that."

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