Steve Clarke is now officially the Scotland manager – and he’ll get right to work preparing the team for their upcoming games with Cyprus and Belgium.
The Tartan Army are back in Euro 2020 qualification action next month, welcoming Cyprus to Hampden on June 8th before travelling to Belgium on June 11th.
And given the awful 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan in the opening game of qualification, positive results in both of those matches are necessary.
So, how will Clarke set about turning Scotland around after Alex McLeish’s rotten spell in charge?
Here we look at five players that could very important for Clarke and Scotland:
Stephen O’DonnellEmbed from Getty Images
Right back is still a problem position for Scotland – but O’Donnell could be the solution to that under Clarke? He got an opportunity under McLeish and showed up well in a few games, but sat out the Kazahstan horrow show, with Sheffield Wednesday’s Liam Palmer preferred. O’Donnell was one of Clarke’s key players during his time at Kilmarnock and that should carry through to Scotland, unless a new top quality right back appears from nowhere.
Stuart FindlayEmbed from Getty Images
Findlay was in McLeish’s last squad, but didn’t manage to make an appearance. He deserved to be in that squad for his form with Kilmarnock this season and he’s another that should get more of a Scotland opportunity under Clarke. The 23-year-old centre back has been underrated for the majority of this season, but probably deserves the same hype as Scott McKenna and John Souttar, who both played for teams that finished below Killie this term. We would not be surprised to see Findlay start against Cyprus.
Ryan JackEmbed from Getty Images
Jack has yet to really make his mark on the Scotland team despite being an ever present for Aberdeen and Rangers over the last five years. He’s been one of Steven Gerrard’s best players this season and now definitely deserves his chance with the national team. At Killie, Clarke played with three dynamic midfielders who could get around the pitch and be involved in every aspect of play. Jack is arguably the best Scottish midfielder at all of that.
David TurnbullEmbed from Getty Images
Regardless of who took over as Scotland manager, Turnbull deserves to be in the next national team squad. His 15 goals and six assists this season helped Motherwell to another steady campaign in the Premiership and saw him win a number of club and league awards. There’s absolutely no doubt Turnbull is one of the best young players in Scotland and the sooner he’s playing at the highest level for club and country the better. Clarke should be well aware of his quality and the need to have that in the national team.
Ryan FraserEmbed from Getty Images
The outstanding Scottish player of 2018/19 has been Fraser, who scored eight goals and assisted 14 for Bournemouth. There’s a good chance he could be an Arsenal player by the time the Scotland squad get together, if reports are to be believed. But even if that doesn’t happen, Fraser has to be one of the players Clarke builds his team around.
Scotland fans – who do you see being important for Clarke?