ALEX McLeish revealed he tried to use the Scotland rugby team’s comeback against England in a desperate bid to get his team back into their European qualifier against Kazakhstan.

McLeish’s men were 2-0 down after a woeful 45 minutes but nothing he nor his coaching staff said could change the course of the game. The Scots lost the third goal not long into the second-half and the game was gone.

The Scotland manager said: “We brought up the rugby team at half-time and tried to use that as an example. We said it was time to roll the sleeves up and get a grip on the game.

“I believe if we scored one then we could get another. But the Kazak team were on fire tonight.

“It was horrible. Ollie Burke looked a little bit up for it and a couple of times Stuart Armstrong made penetrating runs ... and then they hit us with two blockbusters and it was difficult.

"It was disappointing not to see a great reaction to that. They were first to the second balls, were sharper on the night and unfortunately we didn’t get up to speed.”

“It was an extremely important game. It’s the first so there are a lot of games to go but this wasn’t how we wanted to start. They are below us in the rankings so on paper we should beat them, but they took advantage of our inability to get on the second balls, pass and we took too many touches.”

Asked if he was under more pressure because some supporters were calling this the worst result in Scotland history,” McLeish said: “Possibly. It’s a sore one but you have to give a little bit of credit to the Kazakh team for taking advantage of us.”