Scottish football EXCLUSIVE: Scots MUST follow England blueprint to success – Nicholas

Express Sport columnist Nicholas has watched the Three Lions ride on the crest of a wave since Gareth Southgate was appointed in November 2016.

Scotland, meanwhile, have stumbled from disaster to disaster, the latest being a 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan and a tortuous win in San Marino.

Southgate stepped up from the Under-21s to build a supremely talented young squad that reached last year’s World Cup semi-finals and look like sailing through their Euro 2020 qualifying group.

Former Scotland hero Nicholas said: “England are getting it right because the FA have started listening to a younger manager with fresh ideas.

England are getting it right because the FA have started listening to a younger manager

Charlie Nicholas

“Southgate can now say he is able to pick young players, motivate them and blend them.

“The youngsters are coming through and have an identity where they can step up into the full team and it is flawless.

“The long-term foundations have been laid and you can see this England group going on to have a long, sustained period of success.

“We need to look at what they are doing. We need to get the right structure underneath now the way the FA have got it right.

“We are not going to get even close to qualifying. It will be a bun fight just to get above Cyprus now.

“We are two games in and we should write this campaign off and really push for change.”

The Tartan Army chanted “F*** the SFA” as Alex McLeish’s team struggled to beat San Marino on Sunday night.

And Nicholas believes a revolution at Hampden is required.


“We now have an opportunity where the people can go after the SFA,” Nicholas said.

“We have to break down the hierarchy.

“We have to get into the building and gradually break it down.

“We need to start getting proper football people in, people who understand the game, and not those who are looking for a wee trip and wearing a blazer.

“The Kazakhstan result was tremendously damaging.

“If Alex gets binned, I would like to see Malky Mackay taking over with some of the younger coaches behind the scenes.

“That could be the way forward.”

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