CALLUM McGregor has absolved Ryan Porteous from any blame for Scotland’s harrowing defeat to Germany in their Euro 2024 opener and stressed that he and his team mates will rally around the former Watford centre half to keep his morale up in the days ahead.

Porteous received a straight red card from French referee Clement Turpin in added-on time at the end of the first-half in the Allianz Arena in Munich on Friday night after a reckless and dangerous two-footed foul on the hosts’ captain Ilkay Gundogan inside his own area.

The national team were trailing 2-0 at that stage in the one-sided encounter and Arsenal striker Kai Havertz converted the spot kick to put the home favourites three ahead.   

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However, Celtic captain McGregor has nothing but sympathy for Porteous, who is now suspended for the second Group A match against Switzerland in the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne on Wednesday night, and emphasised that all of Steve Clarke’s players are firmly behind the former Hibernian defender.  

(Image: PA) “It was a long bus journey home after the game for sure,” he said as he looked back on the aftermath of the 5-1 reverse to Julian Nagelsmann’s men in Bavaria in the Euro 2024 curtain raiser in Garmisch-Partenkirchen yesterday.

“It is still really early, we got back late last night so we had a later breakfast and then were just on the training pitch there. That (lifting players’ spirits) will come in the next few five, six, seven hours.

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“That is the nature of it. You have your experienced players, your younger players and some process things differently. It is important you give people time even that they reflect on it themselves. We will be back for dinner tonight and then we start how we plan the route forward from there.

“But this is where it is important. It is a team sport and we feel it together. People can make mistakes. We are all human beings and everyone can make mistakes in every walk of life. It is an honest tackle, probably a bit too heavy for the UEFA guys and then ultimately we are down to 10 men and it is a difficult night.

 “For sure none of the players won’t be labelling anything at him. It is an honest tackle and we have to make sure he is okay as well. It is difficult as human beings when you have disappointment in your life, you have to try and get over that.”