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Malpas can't defend Scots.

Byline: GAVIN BERRY

MAURICE MALPAS insists Scotland must rediscover the art of defending to get back on the road to glory.

The former full-back pinpointed Gordon Strachan's rearguard as one of the reasons for Euro 2016 failure.

And Malpas believes Scotland's stoppers have become so focused on helping out in attack they are forgetting their defensive duties.

The 53-year-old - who won 55 caps for his country - said: "It's about getting back to basics in our defending.

"It used to be you defended first and then attacked but my impression now is it's the other way around.

"You can't base this on individuals. It's collectively. We need to defend better as a back four, whether that's stopping crosses into the box, stopping shots at goal or giving themselves more space to pick up runs.

"I don't want to have a go at Alan Hutton but in the Poland game he was bombing forward and when we lost possession he couldn't get back.

"The two central defenders didn't smell the danger, the ball was played through and it was a goal.

"I'm not saying everyone was great defensively years ago but the back four would have been closer together and they would have sussed the danger quicker.

"And for Poland's late equaliser it was a bit of, 'After you Claude' defending.

"One of the back four should have gone towards the ball and been bashing through people instead of waiting for it to come.

"As a defender I wanted to defend.

"Our priority was to make sure we didn't lose goals and then go on and help the attack but nowadays the first thing you're looking for is for your two full-backs to go gung-ho.

"That's great when they can get forward and create goals but you lose something from their defending.

"I couldn't believe in the Poland game that we were trying to get forward when we didn't have safe possession of the ball.

"That's just basic for me.

A no-no."

CAPTION(S):

BACKLINE ISSUES Malpas criticised Strachan's defence

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 13, 2015
Words:338
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