Steven Naismith was on target as Scotland marked Alex McLeish’s first competitive match since coming back for a second spell as manager by beating Albania 2-0 at a sodden Hampden on Monday.
The Hearts forward Naismith, 31, had an eventful night, forcing Berat Xhimshiti into scoring the own goal that put Scotland ahead just after half-time before he scored the second goal that clinched victory.After losing five of their last six games — all friendlies — and scoring only once in that time, Scotland needed this as they begin their latest quest to qualify for a first major tournament since 1998.
This was their first game in the new UEFA Nations League, a competition which offers the carrot of a possible qualifying spot for Euro 2020.
After this result, they are level with Albania on three points in Group 1 of the third-tier League C.
“This was always the focus. People were talking about win ratios but I’m not worried about that. It’s about building a team and we’ve had the very hardest tests possible,” McLeish told Sky Sports.