Ryan Porteous admits Scotland has to sort out defensive issues quickly

The defender bemoaned the 'sloppy' goals conceded in defeat to Netherlands.

Ryan Porteous admits Scotland need to make a big improvement defensively after a 4-0 defeat to Netherlands stretched the team’s winless run to six games.

The heavy defeat meant that Scotland have let in 18 goals across those half-dozen internationals, and that run came after a stretch of five games with only one goal conceded as Steve Clarke’s side did the hard work of qualifying for the Euros.

The game against the Dutch was one of four friendlies lined up ahead of this summer’s finals tournament but hopes of a memorable win to regain momentum were dashed in the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Despite Scotland being more than a match for their high-profile opponents in the first half, they went in a goal down after Tijjani Reijnders scored with a powerful shot five minutes before the break.

And though Scotland created chances in the second half, including a glorious opportunity for Lawrence Shankland after an hour that hit the bar, Netherlands doubled their lead through Georginio Wijnaldum with twenty minutes left.

Goals from substitutes Wout Weghorst and Donyell Malen made it 4-0 and shifted focus from what was largely a creditable performance from Scotland, to the defensive collapse.

“It was disappointing,” Porteous said. “We were more than in it for long spells.

“We had a number of good chances to get ourselves on level terms or maybe even go in front but ultimately the goals we have conceded have stopped us getting anything from the game.

“It is going to be hard to focus on the positives because of the manner of the result.”

The Watford centre-back said that the team would have to study the defensive failings and fix “costly” issues ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Northern Ireland at Hampden, and before facing Germany, Switzerland and Hungary in the Euro 2024 group games.

“Even if we’re getting beaten in games we can’t concede the goals that we have done,” Porteous said. “That can’t happen.

“We’ll definitely take a look at them. But up until the 65th minute we’re more than in the game but the sloppy goals and things that we can do better has cost us.

“It’s tough when you’re playing against these teams but we’ve shown that we can do it.

“We are going through a spell right now with six games, we’ve conceded a number of goals and it’s definitely something we want to rectify as a team and, lucky for us, we’ve got another game on Tuesday to try to do that.”

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