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English Premier League

McArthur defends Levein

James McArthur says Craig Levein is the right man for the Scotland job despite growing speculation that the coach could be set for the sack.

• Belgium 2-0 Scotland

Scotland's 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Tuesday piled the pressure on Levein, whose side are sitting bottom of Group A with just two points from four games.

The former Dundee United boss has won just three competitive games since taking over in 2009, and the Scottish Football Association are believed to be meeting in the next few days to discuss his future.

Some Scottish fans have made it clear who they want to replace Levein, unfurling a banner reading 'Strachan SOS' during the defeat in Brussels.

However, Wigan midfielder McArthur said he believed the national team already has the right man in charge and the players are at fault for the poor run of results.

"I would love him to stay - I think he's a brilliant manager," McArthur said. "He has done everything right by the players.

"The players think he's very good, and we are just unfortunate that we've not got the results. It's down to us players - we should be getting the results.

"The gaffer is putting us out there and we're not doing it. I feel he has set us up right in both games [against Wales and Belgium], and we've not done it on the park. It's down to us, totally.

"We will keep trying. We will keep trying to win matches and, if we can get a few wins, it might bring us back into it.''

Fellow squad member Christophe Berra is also backing his boss, believing the team are moving in the right direction.

"In club football, international football, whatever line of work you are in, if you're not getting results, there is going to be speculation that puts people under pressure," Berra said.

"But the boys enjoy being in the squad, training and playing, and we're going in the right direction. The boys like working under the manager and I think he's done well for us.

"I know it's a results-based game but we think, at the moment, we've got one of the most talented Scottish groups for a long time.

"In the end, we are the ones who go on the pitch and try to win the games.''


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