RYAN Fraser has insisted the Scotland players remain firmly behind Alex McLeish despite the mounting pressure on their manager in the wake of their disappointing opening Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and San Marino.

The national team were booed by their own supporters for the second time in four days after struggling to beat the bottom team in the FIFA World Rankings in their second Group I fixture in Serravalle on Sunday evening.

However, Bournemouth winger Fraser remains convinced McLeish can turn around their campaign and lead the country to next summer’s finals after seeing first hand how he overcame a poor start in the Nations League last year to clinch a play-off spot.

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The Euro 2020 qualifier with Cyprus in June is now crucial to his survival as manager as well as his side’s chances of finishing second in the section and securing automatic qualification for the finals.

But Fraser, who missed the first game against Kazakhstan due to concerns about the artificial pitch in the Astana Arena, is confident the 60-year-old is capable of taking the country to their first major tournament since France ’98.

“He has got us through the Nations League to the play-offs,” he said. “I don’t think we were the best on Thursday night, but I don’t think you can just blame the manager. Watching it, I think that we as players didn’t step up to the plate.

“As far as I could see, we did everything the best we could. The gaffer sorted out a good plane, everything. We just didn’t perform in the end. But we are all together with the manager and we go forward together.

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“This manager has not been afraid to stick people in who are in good form for their clubs and he hasn’t been afraid to stick young boys in as well. There are young boys in the squad. I think everything is positive for the future. We just need to go into our next game and beat Cyprus and go from there.”

Fraser added: “We’re not out of it. If we can win against Cyprus (in their next Group I match at Hampden in June) and get something against Belgium you never know. Our next couple of games are going to be massive.

“I think you need to look at the games that you’ve won. To win two games in quick succession against Albania and Israel to go through to the play-off, particularly after having a rocky start in the Israel game, was good. We came back strong.

“We have got the belief to do it, we have got the characters to do it, we have got the players to do it. It is just doing it more regularly. We went from that high to a low on Thursday night. Hopefully we can just start building momentum and take it from there.”