Stark wants to see more

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Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark was pleased with his side's resilience in their goalless UEFA qualifier against Bulgaria but felt they could have raised the tempo in possession.

Scotland edged a tight first half at St Mirren Park on Tuesday night with Dundee United midfielder Scott Allan the inspiration. Allan shot just wide from close range and set up Jordan Rhodes but the Huddersfield striker could not get hold of his shot and the goalkeeper saved. The hosts then struggled to create chances after the break.

"What didn't surprise me was Bulgaria, having lost the game on Friday (against Holland), you got the feeling they were determined to get something," Stark said. "That made it difficult for us, because they had enough quality to show they could hurt us on the counter-attack. Generally our tempo could have been better."

He added: "That puts a big pressure on players, mentally it's a tough job when you're pushing and pushing and if you lose possession they can break quickly and you have to get back. There were some tired legs towards the end.

"What pleased me was we were resilient in some difficult defensive situations in the second half."

Stark felt his side created the better opportunities.

"We had a couple of good chances - Scott Allan had a tremendous hit and was inches wide and then Jordan Rhodes had a chance when Scotty played him in," he said.

Allan won plaudits from his manager, who claimed he had had been "instrumental" in Scotland's best moments. Start also revealed the reason for his schemer's late removal.

"He was feeling his thigh," he said. "It was literally a couple of minutes and we took him off."

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Jordan Rhodes
Huddersfield Town

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