I've been in the situation at Dundee United, when if it's not for you, it's not for you. The directors wanted us to stay, Eddie Thompson wanted big Gordon Chisholm, then we were getting pressure, there were outside influences; week in, week out it was playing with pressure, and eventually it all just gets the better of you. That's what happened on Friday night with Craig Levein. Too much has gone on in the past.
I was one of the ones who wanted Craig in the job, but barring a miracle, he probably knows that time-up is coming. Unless we win in Belgium, then win every other game until the end of the campaign, there is little chance of qualifying. Most managers would expect to get two campaigns at international level but it's not gone the way he wanted. Whether it's the end now or at the end of the campaign, he will know it is a long way back for him now. He won't need to be told by pundits or journalists. It's just a matter of when.
It wasn't about tactics on Friday night, everything just caught up with Craig. He wanted to bring Jamie Mackie on while Scotland were 1-0 up, take Kris Commons off and shut up shop to see out the game. He was 40 seconds away from getting Mackie on the pitch when Wales equalised. He was doing the right things, he put out an attacking team, he went for it, he knew the dangers when you're only one up.
From a coach or manager's point of view, if somebody says they don't want to play for you then they're lucky to get back in, so I don't blame Craig for the situation with Steven Fletcher. But there were so many things you could pinpoint: Fletcher and Commons, 4-6-0, not qualifying for the last campaign. So many things have built up around Craig. There's a breakdown with the press; he doesn't want to help them, they don't want to help him.
I know the boys are all behind him, but they haven't produced for him. In the three World Cup games they've played so far, and with all the black marks against him and the pressure he's under, they haven't produced the goods for him.
At no point in these three games have we played well. Craig lost a couple of big players for the first two qualifying games, but on Friday night we had them all and still didn't come up to the mark, and if there was ever a time that he needed the players to do that, it was Friday night. He gave them an opportunity to go out and play, it was an attacking formation, and they didn't play well. Bottom line.
The group doesn't make great reading at the moment, because we've not even played the big two yet – Belgium and Croatia – and have dropped points to the three teams we were looking to take points off, particularly at home. We need a miracle. It's another big decision for the SFA and Stewart Regan, not should we get rid of Craig, but when. If we accept he was going to get two campaigns and this one hasn't gone well, is it now or the end of the campaign?
To the day I go to my grave, I will never forget when Scotland played Belgium at Hampden in the World Cup 2002 qualifiers. We were 2-0 up – I'd scored both goals – we were cruising, they were down to 10 men. Then Barry Ferguson missed a one-on-one, other chances were missed, they scored – Marc Wilmots, who is now the manager – but we were still coasting. We were into the last minute, Craig Brown took me off to try to waste some time.
Then there was a throw-in and it was like slow motion, long ball deep into the box, Daniel van Buyten is 6ft 5in, he goes up, hangs there and his header loops and falls into the net. Until then, I could see all the nice headlines, but they changed in the space of seconds.
It was all taken away in one moment. So much of a high to so much of a low, and that was the reason we didn't qualify, because we had to go to Belgium and win and they ended up beating us comfortably. They were two of my best finishes for Scotland as well.