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Football: Lambert blames Scots' players.

Faroe Islands 2 Scotland 2

Scotland captain Paul Lambert says under-fire manager Berti Vogts cannot be held responsible for Saturday's failure in the Faroes.

The first Euro 2004 qualifier of the campaign, which was also the German's competitive debut as Scotland boss, got off to the worst possible start in Toftir.

Primary school teacher John Petersen netted twice in the first 12 minutes as the Scots flailed around the pitch in disarray. An infamous defeat appeared to be on the cards but, in the end, two second-half goals earned the Scots a point.

Lambert scored on the hour with an effort that appeared to have been deflected by players of both sides. With seven minutes to go, Lambert's midfield partner, Barry Ferguson, completed the salvage operation with an equaliser.

Vogts had therefore avoided the humiliation of suffering a defeat that would have had Scotland's media, which already has a difficult relationship with the German, calling for his removal.

However, many followers of the nation's fortunes believe this performance still represented the worst result, simply because the population of the Faroes numbers no more than 45,000.

The Scots had drawn 1-1 in the Faroes on their last visit, but had only surrendered a late equaliser when they were down to ten men. Then, they had almost won; here Faroes were on top for almost the entire game.

Lambert said: 'That was unacceptable - totally unacceptable. No disrespect to the Faroes, but drawing with them is definitely not good enough. It is shocking for the manager. I feel sorry for him because he has been great with us. He has been really good.

'It was nothing to do with the manager. You have to look to yourself as a football player and I'm sure all of our players are doing that at the moment.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Sep 9, 2002
Words:302
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