In the Scots rode their luck a little but an opportunist goal from Scott Brown kept up the feelgood factor in the national side.
Levein took the win in his stride and is now looking ahead to massive overhaul of the Scottish game, from the roots up.
“I have a lot of players to watch and games to see,” he said. “This summer is going to be busy. I am not going to the World Cup but there are lots of friendlies on. And I haven’t even touched on the whole structure of the youth thing.”
Levein’s main modus operandi as a football manager is to be more thoroughand methodical than his opponent. But play bazaar he discovered last week just how limited a Scotland manager’s time with his squad actually is. He issued players with detailed DVDs focusing on every player in the Czech squad, and will expand that programme in the future. But he is so fearful of bombarding players with an information overload in a short space of time that he has had to hold himself back.
“There is a temptation to get overly excited, and say ‘Lets do this, and this, and this’,” Levein said. “I have to rein myself back a bit. Although I haven’t had a game for three months, some of these guys have had three games in a week. It was a very important moment for me, but in a way it was just another international friendly for them.”
That is why the ones who will be given the summer off are the playersthemselves. It was confirmed last week that Scotland’s next assignment will be in Sweden on August 11, with Levein having knocked back a friendly or squad gathering during the internationalweek in May.
He feels that limiting Scotland sessions safeguards their importance. He hopes that allowing the players to focus on their holidays in the summer is a trade-off which may help them return to action refreshed and enthusiastic in time for the twin double-headers against Lithuania and Liechtenstein in September, and the Czech Republic and Spain in October.
“The UK leagues are the toughest in the world,” Levein said. “I feel that physically the amount of fixtures, the conditions you play under, and the tempo of the games, more than take their toll on the players. So I made a decision they would have from now until the summer off, but we have four games in September and October, and I want them fresh and ready to work hard. We need to put in a similar effort but also add that little bit more quality and composure to our play.”
To this end, Levein still has decisions to make on how players unavailable last week, such as Shaun Maloney, Kris Commons, James Morrison and Kirk Broadfoot might fit into the jigsaw. The Barry Ferguson issue has been parked until the summer, when further discussions between will take place. Chief scout Michael Oliver’s unprecedented player search has turned up a few other options for the future, with the SFA refusing to give up on Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll.