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Timeline of Craig Levein's tenure in charge of the Scotland national team

From his 2009 appointment to his departure, Craig Levein's Scotland record.

Craig Levein, October 2010.
© SNS Group

Craig Levein's reign as Scotland manager came to an ignominious, if somewhat delayed, end as the powers that be decided to replace him, with Scotland bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.

While supporters were understandably relieved that his removal offers the chance of a clean slate, it's easy to forget that his appointment was initially greeted with such optimism. We look back on the peaks and troughs of his Scotland tenure.

December 23, 2009

Craig Levein leaves his post as manager of Dundee United, accepting the chance to take over from George Burley as Scotland manager. He signs a four-and-a-half-year deal with the national side, taking his contract until 2014.

March 3, 2010

Levein takes charge of Scotland for the first time, recalling Andy Webster and the exiled Kris Boyd to his squad. Scotland soak up pressure from the Czech Republic and hit them on the counter attack, with Scott Brown scoring the only goal of the game.

August 11, 2010

After the early optimism, Sweden give the Scottish fans some cause for alarm. Debutant Gary Kenneth is given a torrid time by Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Scotland go down 3-0 to Sweden in Stockholm.

September 2010

Scotland's qualification campaign for the 2012 European Championships gets underway in solid, if unspectacular, style. A cautious, perhaps over-conservative point away in Lithuania is followed by a 2-1 win over Liechtenstein. Mario Frick had given the minnows the lead, only for Kenny Miller to equalise. Stephen McManus scored the winner in the seventh minute of injury time.

October 2010

The performance that has forever dogged Levein was in the 1-0 defeat to the Czech Republic. Jamie Mackie was given his first cap and deployed in the much maligned 4-6-0 formation. While the formation itself wasn't the problem, the players looked confused and detached.

The Czechs, who were playing catchup after losing to Lithuania, eased to victory when Roman Hubnik scored. Perversely, Scotland showed far more spirit against reigning World Champions Spain, returning from 2-0 down to get to 2-2. However, Spain raised their game again and Fernando Llorente condemned the Scots to a 3-2 defeat.

November 16, 2010

Levein hands out seven debuts in a 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands. Danny Wilson, Barry Bannan, David Goodwillie, Cammy Bell, Steven Saunders, James McArthur and Craig Bryson all make their full international debuts.

March 27, 2011

Scotland go down 2-0 to Brazil, despite putting up a spirited performance. Neymar is the star of the show. Craig Mackail-Smith makes his debut.

May 2011

After comfortably beating Northern Ireland 3-0 in February and Wales 3-1 in May, Scotland are beaten 1-0 by Republic of Ireland to miss out on lifting the Carling Nations Cup. Chris Maguire, Mark Wilson, Robert Snodgrass, Russell Martin and Grant Hanley make their debuts.

July 2011

Scotland are placed in a very tricky World Cup qualifying group, alongside Serbia, Croatia, highly fancied Belgium, Macedonia and unlikely bottom seeds Wales. Levein remains upbeat, calling the group "a mixed bag".

September 2011

Confidence is high following a 2-1 friendly victory over Denmark, with Robert Snodgrass scoring his first international goal. Scotland know that realistically they have to beat the Czech Republic at home to have any chance of reaching the European Championships.

Kenny Miller gives Scotland the lead, but Jaroslav Plasil equalises just 12 minutes before the end. Still, Scotland rally and Darren Fletcher again puts Scotland ahead. Dutch referee Kevin Blom then infuriates the nation when he gives a penalty for a 'foul' on Jan Rezek that could be best described as soft. Michal Kadlec equalises.

Scotland again go up the pitch but Blom refuses to give a penalty when Christophe Berra is fouled in the box, deep into injury time. Despite needing all sorts of favours from the remaining fixtures, Steven Naismith scores the only goal of the game to give Scotland victory against Lithuania.

October 2011

Scotland know that only victory over Liechtenstein and World Champions Spain will give them any hope of going to Ukraine and Poland. Craig Mackail-Smith's goal completes part one of the task, but Spain are far too good, and run out 3-1 winners. Scotland fail to qualify for Euro 2012, but Levein is given the task of guiding the side to Brazil in 2014.

May 2012

A win at the end of 2011 against Cyprus and draw away to Slovenia at the start of 2012 offer some indication that Scotland are moving in the right direction, but Levein is criticised for taking Scotland to Florida for a friendly with the USA at the very end of the season. A largely inexperienced squad are humbled 5-1 by a rampant US side.

August 15, 2012

Scotland turn in arguably the most impressive performance of Levein's tenure, beating Australia 3-1. Jordan Rhodes, the great hope of Scottish football, scores his first international goal.

September 2012

Despite maintaining his belief that Scotland could win all of their games in their qualifier, Levein starts with a relatively cautious lineup against a nervy Serbian side. Kenny Miller misses some gilt-edged chances as Allan McGregor keeps the Serbs at bay. There are positives from the 0-0 draw, but not many.

The failings are underlined three days later when Macedonia take a 1-1 draw from Hampden, with Miller scoring after Nikolce Noveski had put the Macedonians ahead. Two draws from two opening home fixtures is far from an ideal start.

October 2012Levein maintains that the match against Wales is not a "must win" game, despite the precarious nature of Scotland's hopes. Steven Fletcher is recalled after ending his spat with the manager, and there is some renewed optimism. This is helped no end by James Morrison giving the Scots the lead in Cardiff.

Fletcher arguably should have added a second, only for it to be ruled that the offside Charlie Adam had put the ball out of play. Still, Levein fails to adapt his tactics to deal with the persistent threat of Gareth Bale. The Tottenham man wins and converts a soft penalty before curling a fantastic effort past Allan McGregor to give Wales a 2-1 victory.

Things don't get much better in Belgium, where Scotland's defences are eventually breached by Christian Benteke. Vincent Kompany's stunning second gives Belgium the points and leaves Scotland bottom of Group A.

November 5, 2012

Craig Levein leaves his post as Scotland manager.

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