SCOTLAND manager Steve Clarke last night insisted his decision to play his captain Andy Robertson out of position had not been to blame for the dsappointing Qatar 2022 qualifying defeat to Denmark in Copenhagen.

Clarke sprang a major surprise before kick-off by playing Liverpool left back Robertson at right wing back in the absence of both Stephen O’Donnell and Nathan Patterson.

The national team conceded two goals in the space of as many minutes in the first-half of the Group F match against the Euro 2020 semi-finalists in the Parken and ended up losing 2-0.

The manager changed his line-up at half-time – he brought on Lyndon Dykes and moved Robertson back to left wing back - and his men performed better in the second-half.

However, with Israel and Austria winning away against the Faroe Islands and Moldova respectively, they dropped to fourth place in the table.

Clarke felt that his charges had not been brave enough in defence against opponents who have now won all four of their matches in the section.

“Obviously on the night the best team won,” he said. “They blew us away a little bit with the intensity of the start and obviously conceding two goals in quick succession like that made it a long night for us.

“I thought we showed a little bit of character in the second-half, played a lot better in the game. But it was a disappointing night.

“We expected a high energy start and that’s what we got, that’s what we faced. When you look at both goals that we conceded we could have done better at both and that’s probably what is the most disappointing part.

“We didn’t give ourselves a platform in the game. It took us until 30 minutes into the game before we started getting a feel for it and by that time the game had gone beyond our reach.”

Asked about switching Robertson, he said: “The decision was always difficult. But I don’t think that was the sole cause of our problems in the first-half.

“I thought we defended too deep, we weren’t brave enough on the back line which made the midfield area too big for our boys to get close to the ball. I thought in the second half we got the line right, had a little bit more aggression in our press and we found ourselves in the game.”

Clarke has turned his attentions to beating Modlova in Scotland’s next Group F match at Hampden on Saturday and resurrecting their chances of reaching the World Cup finals next year.

“When you lose there are not too many positives,” he said. “We have to go away, recover well and get three points at Hampden on Saturday against Moldova. That’s the next objective. You don’t have time to feel too sorry for yourself.

“We’ll assess what happened, we’ll try to do better. Listen, let’s not forget how good Denmark are. They’re a really good team, they showed that in the summer and they showed that again tonight, especially in the first-half.”