THE culture in football everywhere, not just in Scotland, is that someone has to be to blame for a defeat. So it’s no surprise to hear criticism being thrown about since the defeat to the Czech Republic.

It was Steve Clarke. It was David Marshall. Nonsense.

We were beaten by two goals, one of which is probably goal of the tournament, and I’ll be very surprised if you see a better headed goal in the whole tournament than the Czech Republic’s first one as well.

They had two bits of quality, we’ve had our opportunities and we couldn’t take them. We didn’t get that final wee bit right, so yes, we have to ensure our quality is better in those key areas. But the game itself was very even.

It was a straightforward game, there was nothing too cosmic about it. It was all about trying to get the ball up to the striker as quick as you can, then working from there. Because of that, I thought it was a real interesting game, because it gave the fans what they wanted; headers, tackles, body contact, chances.

People sometimes look down on Scotland doing that through football snobbery, saying that the ball should always be played through the thirds. It doesn’t really. Great passes can miss out a third. The game was interesting and exciting, and for a fan, it was good.

Sometimes after a game you think ‘Oh, what am I going to say to everybody? Where do I go from here?’ I don’t think Steve had that problem. Steve’s problem would be ‘That was fine, well done’.

We all know that David could have been further back, that’s been done to death. But the first goal? The guy has just jumped higher than anyone else, what can you do about that? We’ve all been there playing football where someone is taller than you, can jump higher or run faster. You think ‘I’m trying my best here, but he’s fast so it’s making me look slow’. That happens in life sometimes.

The coaching staff might go away and think about what they could maybe have done differently, that’s up to them, but I don’t think you could say that anybody played badly in the team.

Nobody was outstanding, but nobody played badly, that’s for sure. I don’t think anybody can go to their room after that game and feel that they have a bad game. If you have done as well as you can do and given it your best shot, there can be absolutely no recriminations.

We had 19 shots at goal, we hit the bar, so I don’t really see why there’s a big clamour to change everybody. These boys have done incredibly well to get to this point.

What we can’t do is rip up the whole thing and call for back fours and all the rest of it off the back of one result.

Everyone was singing and dancing about the back three before the Czech Republic game. What Steve has to think about now is how he can affect the England game, not what happened in the Czech game.

Do I have to make sure I don’t get beat in the first half, or can I go and score a goal in the first half? Do I bring in different players, the guys who can eliminate, like James Forrest and Ryan Fraser? It’s hard to eliminate defenders with the pace of Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier. Or do you go with the tried and trusted formula?

His other thought might be do I bring in Kevin Nisbet? Do I bring in Che Adams? Adams has got a shout because I think as Scotland manager going into this, you have to be thinking about who has played in the Premier League. That experience might be invaluable, having those players who have faced these guys rather than players who aren’t used to it.

I think that’s where Adams comes into his thinking. But if he makes changes it won’t be due to players playing badly, it will be about getting the right players into the right system.

He’s got a lot to think about, but it’s not all gloom and doom, that’s for sure. Every manager will tell you there’s nothing worse when you’re on that team bus going back to the hotel and thinking ‘Where do we go from here?’, and it’s far from that.

I think Steve is happy with the system, the players are happy with the system. I think they could go into a back four quite easily, they have done that before, but whatever system they are going for, I don’t think it will hinge on Tierney being involved or not. They will have been working on it all week.

Steve will have made his mind up right after the Czech Republic game. Bang, this is what we’re going to do. The places in that system may well be up for grabs, but the system itself would have been decided at the start of the week.

There are some selection conundrums, but I wouldn’t get spooked and think we have to throw in all the youngsters.

David Turnbull is an option because he can see things that other people can’t see, but it depends what you are going to do.

If Billy Gilmour comes in, he’s used to taking the ball off the defenders at Chelsea, looking ahead of him and finding exceptional players playing in the holes. Are Scott McTominay and John McGinn comfortable trying to play in holes?

It’s alright saying bring Billy in to pass the ball, but does that then throw everybody else out? Is Billy going to get you a goal? If you’re leaving out a Ryan Christie or a Stuart Armstrong, you are taking goals out of the team.

The mindset would have to change totally if Billy was playing. There is no doubt about it, he is an absolutely terrific player. He’s brilliant at taking the ball and turning and feeding it through, but are we at that stage just now as a team? Are the people in front of him capable of being like Kai Havertz and Timo Werner? Are those players like that? I really don’t know.

There’s absolutely a chance to get something here, though. We can definitely get a result. They will have a go as much as they can, absolutely they will.

It’s crucial when we win the ball back to retain it, get three or four passes in and get up the park, because I don’t thing we’ve got greased lightning pace to go bang, over the top.

We have to get control of the ball, get up the pitch, and when we get in the last third, we have to take people on. Why? Because that gets you free kicks and corner kicks, and that is what we’re after.

Especially when you have three centre-backs and McTominay in the team, it’s then 50/50 at that point. That’s good, because I don’t think it’s 50/50 in free play. They have better players than us, but at every set play we are equals, and that is our biggest chance.

We have great delivery and people that will throw themselves at the ball. A lot of the time, that’s all you need.