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'Spain are unplayable,' claims Steven Naismith after Scotland miss out on Euro 2012 play-off berth

'Spain are unplayable,' claims Steven Naismith after Scotland miss out on Euro 2012 play-off berth


Rangers forward lauds World champions after goals from David Silva and Villa ensure Scots miss out on Euro 2012 whilst Vicente del Bosque's side qualify with perfect record

Scotland’s Steven Naismith has lauded Spain as ‘unplayable’ after a 3-1 defeat in Alicante saw Craig Levein’s side miss out on qualification for Euro 2012 with their hosts finishing top of Group I with a perfect record.

Goals from David Silva and David Villa earned the victory for Vicente del Bosque’s men and prolonged Scotland's wait to qualify for their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the game the Rangers man was brutally honest in his assessment of the task they had in front of them.

“Sometimes they’re simply unplayable, they knock the ball about so quick and so crisp it’s hard to get the ball.”

“We could have, maybe defended a wee bit better, but they are a world class side and that’s why they are World and European champs.”

The game went in Spain’s favour in the first half before the visitors fought back in the second period. Scotland changed their approach and started to chase the hosts, and this gave them an avenue back into the contest, but Naismith was always wary of the threat Spain posed.

“We tried to get forward as much as we can," he continued, "when they’ve got that much possession you can’t just open up against a Spain team who’ve got world class players.”

“The way they scored their goals, they carve you open and that’s what we’ve got to learn, but over the two games, we showed up well, we scored three goals and got chances.”

Scotland had the added pressure of knowing that any result they got may not have been enough to see them through as Czech Republic needed only to match the result to ensure that they would be in the play-offs at the expense of the Tartan Army.

Naismith was clear that the results elsewhere had no bearing on his side approach to the game.

“It was irrelevant to be honest," Naismith conceded. "We knew we had to try and do our bit and unfortunately we failed to do it.”

The draw for the play-offs will be held in Krakow on Thursday with the draw for the finals being held on December 2.