Steve Clarke: Scotland’s camp is all smiles after qualifying victory

Scotland boss Steve Clarke positive after Faroes win
Scotland boss Steve Clarke positive after Faroes win (PA Wire)
22:48pm, Wed 31 Mar 2021
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Steve Clarke insisted there was plenty to be pleased about after Scotland secured their first 2022 World Cup qualifying win with a convincing 4-0 victory over the Faroe Islands.

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who scored a crucial late leveller against Austria last week, fired the home side into the lead in the seventh minute at Hampden Park then doubled that up with a header in the 54th minute – his 10th international goal.

Southampton striker Che Adams scored his first Scotland goal with a superb drive from outside the box on the hour, before Ryan Fraser added a fourth with a back-post header in what was the Scots’ last competitive game before the delayed 2020 Euros this summer.

After three Group F fixtures, Scotland have five points from nine and sit in second place behind flawless Denmark, and Clarke stressed the feelgood factor within the camp.

He said: “We always have positivity. Sometimes we get a little trickle of negativity coming from other areas, but within the camp it is positive.

“We think we are a good squad, we think we can be a good team, we know have to improve but the spirit within the camp is good.

“So what’s not to be positive about? It is five points from the first three games, which is good.

“We have the Euros to look forward to. It’s the first time in 23 years we can look forward to a major tournament, so what’s not to smile about?

“It was a good performance. We picked a team that would be positive and get at them and we scored within the first seven or eight minutes.

“We knew they would give us a tough game, they are physical, it was difficult to break them down and then we had to be patient to get the second goal.

“They still had one or two chances so we can do slightly better defensively so things to work on, but I am pleased with the team.

“It was a good 10 days. The first (World Cup qualifying) camp, five points, second in the group, we can look forward to September (when qualifiers resume).”

Clarke joked about McGinn scoring a double, saying: “I’m disappointed with John, I left him on to get his hat-trick but he didn’t get any more chances.

“He was desperate for it. John is a midfield player whose timing is good in the box.”

As for Adams’ first Scotland goal, Clarke said: “It’s always good for a striker to score and it was a good goal, a good strike from distance.”

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