ANDY Robertson, the Scotland captain, refused to look for any positives after Friday night’s defeat by Russia and admitted his team’s hopes of qualifying through the group are all-but over.

Scotland still have the play-off in May, which was always going to be the best route to next summer’s European championships, but the hope before the current campaign was that this would be the time when the national team could finish second.

The only chance Robertson and his team have now would be to beat Belgium tomorrow at Hampden. It’s a feat even the Liverpool star believes is unlikely.

Robertson admitted: “It is going to be very hard to qualify now. We need to get something from Monday’s game against the number one seeds and the best team in the world. That is where we are at unfortunately.

“We have to pick ourselves up and we have to be brave as that is the only way we will get something from the game. If we are beaten on Monday, then it is verging on impossible to qualify from the group. There is no room for error.

“It will be tough as are playing against a team of world class players. We need to believe we can create goals of our own. If we can get three points, then we would probably take that at the start of these two games. That is what we must believe we can do.

“I do think they are the best team in the world just now. I have played against them and I play against most of their players week in, week out. They are the best team for a reason and we know how hard this is going to be. Hampden used to get big results against big teams and we have not had that for a very long time. When it is do or die then why not do it now.”

Robertson did not have a good game on Friday night in the 2-1 defeat by Russia, a scoreline which did not reflect the visitors’ dominance.

Yet another poor display has done nothing for the morale of players and supporters, and a frustration was that John McGinn had put Scotland in front and for 25-30 minutes it was Steve Clarke’s team who were on top.

Robertson said: “It was frustrating because we started well and then the goal ends up working as a negative. That is something I can’t really put my finger on If we could have then we would have sorted it there and then.

“Instead we dropped deep and started getting nervous for whatever reason. We started losing our touch, misplacing passes and going back to the goalkeeper. It was ridiculous and that shouldn’t happen. We should be better than that.

“We didn’t get the wingers on the ball enough. Both James (Forrest) and Ryan (Fraser) are players that can hurt teams. We went through the middle too often.

“To be fair to Russia they defended well. They are a good team but it wasn’t impossible to play through them. The Nations League is the most likely route. I fancy Russia to beat Kazakhstan, so it is going to be very hard for us.”