Wanted to show people that what happened in summer wasn't us, reveals Steve Clarke

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Steve Clarke

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Wanted to show people that what happened in summer wasn't us, reveals Steve Clarke

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SportsCafe Desk

09/28/2022

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke confessed that the team wanted to show the world exactly what they could do after their heartbreaking World Cup qualification playoff loss in June. Clarke’s side flew through their UEFA Nations League B group with 13 points to earn promotion to the top tier.

After losing to Ireland in June 2022, many fans were upset with Steve Clarke’s Scotland side especially as that came less than ten days after the loss to Ukraine. Clarke’s side lost 3-1 to Ukraine in the World Cup Qualification playoff semi-final with Wales eventually going through after beating Ukraine in the final. It broke more than a few Scottish hearts although the response since then has been excellent from Scotland.

They won three games on the trot in the UEFA Nations League B group to set up a final game against Ukraine and just about rode their luck to a goalless draw. However, that ensured a first-place finish in their group which promotes them to the top tier of the Nations League and also gives Scotland a UEFA Euro 2024 play-off place. It saw Clarke admit that the team wanted to show people that what happened during the summer “wasn’t us” and that they “wanted to be better”.

"We wanted to show people that what happened in the summer wasn't us. We wanted to be better this week, we pressed a big button to reset. Three fantastic performances, all different, but all vital. Ukraine are a very good team, we knew they'd have moments in the game, and ask Craig (Gordon) to make saves - he did that as he always does,” Clarke said, reported Sky Sports.

"Porteous was outstanding for a debut. So pleased for the boy, shows that he listens, that he learns. I'm also so pleased for Jack Hendry - big ask for Jack. Everyone expects Callum McGregor and John McGinn to play three games with that intensity, but I had to ask Jack to do that again - he was struggling a bit with a cold, but he was outstanding in all three games."

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