Speed hits out at scheduling

Speed hits out at scheduling

Wales manager Gary Speed accused organisers of the Carling Nations Cup of disrespecting his side after tonight’s 3-1 loss to Scotland in Dublin.

Speed said in the build-up to this week’s games in Dublin that his team had been treated unfairly by schedulers for giving them two games in 48 hours and tonight made his point more forcefully.

With another game against Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Friday, Speed chose to start without most of his Premier League players and field an inexperienced side.

Speed said: “I think the tournament has been undermined by attendances and the schedule as well.

“We have been treated like the poor relations in this one.

“To play two games in three days is ridiculous when Scotland don’t play now until Sunday.

“It is not a level playing field so that undermines the credibility of the tournament.”

Wales started the game brightly with stand-in captain Rob Earnshaw capitalising on a Stephen Crainey mistake to fire his side into a half-time lead.

But Speed is still waiting for his first win in charge after Scotland, with Charlie Adam to the fore, hit back through James Morrison, Kenny Miller and Christophe Berra.

Speed added: “I was delighted with the first half. We played really well. I was delighted with some of the lads that came in.

“I thought they were excellent first half, they played with a lot of confidence, passed the ball about and created some chances.

“We were the better team but it was always a balancing act between players who haven’t played a lot of football and players who have played too much.

“I thought second half Scotland put us under a lot of pressure and we didn’t deal with it as well as we should have.

“We got a bit ragged and Scotland tore us apart. That is something we have got to improve on because we are going to have games against stronger opposition and be under a lot of pressure.”

Scotland boss Craig Levein felt his team were unlucky to be trailing at the break but was pleased with their character in fighting back.

Levein said: “I don’t think we did particularly badly in the first half at all.

“We controlled the game for long spells and had numerous chances.

“We made one individual error and were punished for it.

“We got a little bit anxious the last 10-15 minutes of the first half when we tried to over-elaborate and run with the ball too much.

“But at half-time the scoreline masked the performance. We didn’t play anywhere near as badly as the scoreline would indicate.

“There was no need to reprimand anybody because the players who could win the game were on the pitch.

“The team took control in the second half – but you can have all the good play you want, if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net it has a detrimental effect on players’ attitudes.

“It was important we got the first goal.”

Levein took the chance to look at number of unfamiliar faces, including English-born Norwich defender Russell Martin.

Levein said: “He is a very good player, that is why he was in the squad.

“I had hoped to get him on tonight. You can never say for certain that you are going to make a particular substitution but I am glad he got some game time.

“I have watched him on numerous occasions and we feel he is capable of being an international player.”

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