Disappointed Stuart Armstrong says Scotland need to be more clinical if they are to qualify from Group D.
That’s after Steve Clarke’s side fell to a frustrating 2-0 defeat in the opening Euro 2020 match against the Czech Republic at Hampden.
Despite creating decent chances throughout the match, two goals either side of half-time from Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Shick made the difference.
And former Dundee United man Armstrong insists the Scots will have to be sharper at both ends of the park if they are to recover from their poor start.
Speaking to the BBC, Armstrong said: “It was a difficult one. The game was very compact, especially in the first half.
“We played too many long balls for our liking and it was hard to break them down.
“We are disappointed with the first goal from a set-piece. Apart from that we defended quite well.
“They showed real quality for the second goal as we tried to get the equaliser. Not to say we didn’t have chances but we missed a bit of luck and they were clinical.
“Jack Hendry hit the bar and Lyndon Dykes had a good shot saved.
“The little things didn’t go our way but at this level you do need to be clinical when the time comes.”
Scotland’s second match of Group D is a tough task against England at Wembley before they face Croatia next week.
And Armstrong says it’s important the Scots pick themselves up quickly before their tournament is over.
“We need to take experience from today,” he added.
“It’s a tough one but we need to learn.
“Fundamentally there were positive things we need to take through to Friday.
“We now have two chances to produce performances and get something.
“We can’t dwell on it because the games will come round quick.
“We’ve been focusing game by game, now the first one is done we look forward to a big occasion against England.
“We need to produce a performance.”
How did the match unfold?
The 9,847 fans inside Hampden made Scotland’s return to a major tournament a boisterous affair.
And the home side’s opening reflected that. Skipper Andy Robertson was the leader down the left, proving a real threat for the Czechs to cope with.
Chances were few and far between in a tense first-half, however.
First Robertson crossed for striker Lyndon Dykes to flick wide after 16 minutes before the former Dundee United left-back had Scotland’s best look at goal.
Fed by Ryan Christie, Robertson was free on the left-hand side and fired goalwards but saw Tomas Vaclik tip over.
Then on 41 minutes, the Scots were caught with the sucker punch. The threat from the Czech Republic was from set-pieces and a succession of corners brought the opening goal.
The home side dealt with the first centre but failed to prevent Vladimir Coufal sending in a cross from the right wing.
That gave striker Patrik Shick the chance to rise above Grant Hanley and plant a header into the corner.
Shick strikes again
Marshall had to be at his best to deny Schick and Vladimir Darida immediately after the break as the visitors looked to take the game away from Scotland.
Jack Hendry would curl a shot onto the crossbar moments later but it was 2-0 on 51 minutes.
It was Shick again, this time netting a remarkable goal, lobbing David Marshall from the halfway line to silence the home crowd.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of the Scots and they were chasing the game.
With 25 minutes to go, Dykes brought a good low save from Vaclik shortly after a deflected Armstrong effort drifted just over the bar.
Substitutes were thrown on but there was to be no rousing late comeback at Hampden as Clarke’s side got their Euro 2020 campaign off to a disappointing start.
They are next in action against England at Wembley on Friday evening.