Levein pleased with progress

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Scotland manager Craig Levein insists his team is improving all the time and hopes victory in the Carling Nations Cup will mark the next stage in their development.

The Scots face hosts the Republic of Ireland in the tournament's final match on Sunday night and for Levein, the competition has provided another opportunity to spend time with his players before the resumption of their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign at the start of next season.

Levein said: "I've enjoyed the tournament because I've had the opportunity to get the players together and work with them and get some positive experiences. So, from that point of view, I'm pleased with the way the tournament has gone so far."

He added: "We are intending to try to win the game and win the trophy. I feel, as a group of players, the lads are improving, not just in a team sense.

"But if you go through the group of players who are here with Scotland, you will see players who, individually, have had very successful seasons. I'm grateful to be able to take advantage of those guys' improvement.

"That's why I believe that the international team is slowly inching forward and I see far more improvement ahead."

Scotland head into the match bolstered by a 3-1 win over Wales, which saw them fight back from a Rob Earnshaw opener to win the game thanks to goals from James Morrison, Kenny Miller and Christophe Berra.

Levein said: "All credit to them. I've got players who are high on confidence because of their individual performances throughout last season. When you have players who are confident, then my job becomes an awful lot easier.

"A lot of people spoke about the difference between the first half and the second half in the game the other night but I didn't feel there was a huge difference between the two, except that we didn't capitalise on the goalscoring opportunities that we had.

"The one thing about the players we've got, every time they take to the field they do their utmost to help each other and try to win matches. That, again, makes my job a little bit easier."

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James Morrison
Premier League
Christophe Berra
Kenny Miller

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