Craig Levein is adamant he will stay out of any debate about his managerial future. He is in a minority. Pressure will intensify on Scotland's manager in the event of defeat in Belgium on Tuesday evening. The Scots have claimed two points in their three opening World Cup qualifying matches and Levein is likely to face a genuine struggle to hold on to his post if things do not go his way in Brussels.
"I don't actually know if there is a wider debate going on," Levein said. "I haven't read anything, listened to anything or taken any notice of anything else. Absolutely nothing. Maybe in the world out there there is a debate going on but I don't know about it.
"It's no good to the players, me worrying about other things. I am only doing my job properly if I concentrate on helping them to get a result against Belgium. I really believe we have got a performance in us. And we need it now."
Scotland's manager remains scarred by events in Cardiff on Friday. In a 2-1 defeat by Wales the visitors, leading 1-0, were denied a seemingly legitimate goal when the assistant referee wrongly flagged for the ball looping out of play. Levein pointed to a Scottish sense of "injustice".
He added: "In all my time in football I have never seen a decision like that. We feel badly let down by the officials on Friday. We had the points in our hands and they got snatched away from us. To get nothing from the game from a winning position was a massive disappointment."
Levein pointed to the wider issue of Scotland's international struggles. Not since 1998 has the country qualified for the finals of a major tournament, a matter which is indicative of wider trouble.
"In Scotland football is absolutely everything," Levein said.
"I would love there to be a sense of exactly where we are in the pecking order but I don't think that exists. The longer we don't qualify, it is more likely to happen and someone will say: 'Wait a minute, something is not right here.'
"In the meantime I'm the one who is trying to get results. Twelve years ago Belgium started out changing everything and now look where they are.
"We need to be a bit more realistic about our chances. We can chop and change managers as many times as we want, say this manager didn't work and that one didn't work, then move to another manager who is seen as the messiah. The teams at the top of the tree are the ones who have a system in place to produce players."
Scotland can, at least, garner a modicum of hope from the absence of Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku from the Belgium squad because of injuries. Yet they recorded a 3-0 win in Serbia on Friday night, a result which sent them to the summit of Group A on goal difference.
"It's difficult for us to say why Scotland haven't got more points as we've been only focused on Belgium," said the Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. "Before the qualification started we thought Scotland would be one of our main rivals as they have good players.
"We are really happy with the start we've had in this group. We want to go to a tournament eventually as we haven't been at one for a long time. The time is right for us to get the results that can take us there.
"Our result in Serbia was really good. Not many teams go there and get three points and especially by 3-0. It was an impressive result."
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