Clarke – More to come from Scotland

Warren Ashurst
June 19th 2021, 11:03 am
Last Updated 3 years ago
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Steve Clarke says Scotland fully deserved their point against England at Wembley on Friday and believes there is more to come from his improving side.

The Scots frustrated England in their much-hyped Euro 2020 Group D showdown and arguably could have left the national stadium with more than a battling 0-0 draw.

Che Adams and Stephen O’Donnell were among the players to miss big chances for the visitors, while 20-year-old Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour shone on his first full appearance.

Clarke knew his side needed at least a point from the game to keep their hopes of progression in the tournament alive after their opening 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic and he was proud of his players as they responded in style at Wembley.

He said: “I am pleased for everybody, all my players and all my staff. It was a little bit unfair some of the stuff that came our way after Monday’s result.”

The focus for Scotland is now on Croatia on Tuesday when, back at Hampden Park, Clarke’s side should qualify for the last 16 with a victory. The Tartan Army boss is confident they will continue to upset the odds and he retains faith that his side, who have now only lost one of their last seven games, can progress further.

He added: “The objective tonight was to get something from the game so we could go to the last game with a genuine chance of qualifying and that is what we have done.

“We have been improving for a long time so it was nice to see the play on the pitch, we defended well, the most pleasing aspect was we played well.”

Gilmour, meanwhile, picked up the man-of-the-match award on his first-ever start for his country as Clarke’s big call to start the youngster in the biggest game of the year paid off in outstanding fashion.

Clarke said: “It was nice for Billy to get that start – big platform, big stage, big player. We’ve said for a long time he was part of the future of Scottish football.

“We know what we’ve got in the camp and we will try to manage him properly and keep a lid on things. Performances like that will do him no harm whatsoever.”

Group D is now finely poised after Croatia and the Czechs drew 1-1 earlier on Friday, leaving the latter and England both on four points so far, while Scotland and the Croats have one apiece heading into the final round of group games.

Warren Ashurst

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion and has covered both domestic and international level.