Football

Steve Clarke Praises ‘Character and Resilience’ of His Scotland Players After San Marino Win

Steve Clarke Praises ‘Character and Resilience’ of His Scotland Players After San Marino Win

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has praised his ‘resilient’ players after Sunday’s win over lowly San Marino.

The Scots can no longer reach next year’s Euro 2020 via their qualifying group, after a wretched campaign which has seen defeats home and way to Russia and Belgium, as well as a crushing 3-0 loss in Kazakhstan.

However, despite Thursday’s 4-0 reverse at the hands of the Russians in Moscow, Scotland bounced back to secure a 6-0 victory against FIFA’s lowest ranks side inside a drenched Hampden Park.

John McGinn bagged his first professional hat-trick, with Lawrence Shankland, Stuart Findlay and Stuart Armstrong also getting on the score-sheet, and speaking to Sky Sports after the full-time whistle, via the Daily Record, manager Clarke had some praise for his under-fire squad: “It was a good performance. It’s not often a Scottish team will run up six goals.

“I thought the attitude from the first whistle was great, even in the second half when the pitch became very tricky we kept trying to get the goals.

“It’s a nice reward at the end of a difficult week.

“(On the pitch) I think it’s difficult. We wanted to pass the ball and we moved it really well in the early part of the game which got us in front.

“We wanted to do that in the second half but obviously it started sticking in the puddles. We still managed to find the right passes into the box and got some good goals.

“They’ve got character, they’ve got resilience. It’s never easy, we were on a hiding to nothing here tonight.

“But they’ve shown they’ve got the character to come back from a bad blow.

“It’s not so much about trying different things. Even tonight we tried to keep the shape of the team similar to what it was in the previous games because we’re working towards an end target – the play off games next March.

“Before we get there we have to go to Cyprus. They lost heavily today at home so we go there one point behind with a chance to go above them.

“The immediate objective is to win that game and get up the table.”

Scotland have two final qualifying group matches – away to Cyprus and at home to Kazakhstan – before taking part in their Nations League playoff semi-final, against a yet-to-be-decided opponent in March.

What do you think of Scotland’s victory, and Clarke’s comments afterwards?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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