CALLUM McGREGOR insists the Scotland players must take responsibility for the embarrassing 3-0 loss against Kazakhstan at the Astana Arena yesterday.
The Celtic midfielder was skippering his country for the first time following the withdrawal of captain Andy Robertson.
However, his big day was marred by a dreadful display from the Scots that saw them trailing by two goals in 10 minutes.
A shell-shocked McGregor, speaking to Sky Sports, admitted: “Obviously, we’re devastated. We were nowhere near good enough on the night and they totally deserve it.
“We have to hold our hands up and say we were nowhere near it.
“We never started the game well. We came here, it’s an intimidating stadium, but you’ve got to start well and give yourself half a chance, but we lost two goals in quick successive and that throws us off and we never recovered from that.
“It’s massive frustration. You come away, you want to start the campaign well, but you’ve got to play better than that if you want to gain points.
“We know it’s a bad result and we’ve got to go again in the next couple of days, we’ve got another game to try and take steps to make it right.
“If we get a good result in that game, we can finish on that positive, but we know we’ve got to be better than that.”
McGregor was helpless as yesterday’s opponents, ranked a lowly 117thin the FIFA list, ran amok right from the kick-off with the visitors reeling following an early two-goal blast with keeper Scott Bain, making his first appearance for his country, left exposed by his defence.
Graeme Shinnie, the Aberdeen left-back who was deputising for Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney, was slow to spot the danger on both occasions and the Scots were made to suffer.
Scotland now travel to San Marino for Sunday’s crucial encounter where three points are a must.