Scotland defender Scott McKenna is glad to have a clear focus for their next game after seeing a nine-match unbeaten run come to an end.
Scotland could have sealed promotion to the top tier of the Nations League in Slovakia on Sunday but a 1-0 defeat left Group B2 in the balance.
The Czech Republic later moved a point behind Steve Clarke’s side with a 1-0 win over Israel, who came close to a last-gasp equaliser despite seeing Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed sent off for a deliberate handball.
A draw in Pilsen would have secured top spot for Scotland but the result leaves it as a two-way fight with Clarke’s men knowing they might need victory in Israel while the Czechs host neighbours Slovakia.
Scotland created the better of the chances in Slovakia and Clarke reminded his players after the game that there was plenty to look forward to.
“It wasn’t so much looking back, it was more focused on Wednesday,” McKenna said of his manager’s post-match message.
“We need to go to Israel and try to get three points to finish top of the group.
“Obviously it’s the end of a winning run but it’s now the chance to start another one.
“We know if we go there and get three points then we will win the group.
“Obviously you would far rather that than require results elsewhere.
“But the fact it’s that black and white – three points and we qualify – makes it easier for us.”
Scotland created a number of chances before and after Jan Gregus netted from a deflected long-range strike in the first half.
Oli McBurnie passed up several first-half openings and the home goalkeeper pulled off excellent stops from Kenny McLean and substitute Leigh Griffiths.
“If you are ever going to lose a game you need to do it in the right spirit,” Nottingham Forest defender McKenna said.
“We didn’t just lie down, we went down fighting and kept going until the 90th minute and the keeper pulled off a great save from Griff.”
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