Alan Pattullo's Euro 2020 diary: Steve Clarke's nine-in-a-row and how talking to the press helped heal Kieran Tierney

Is it any wonder that Steve Clarke seemed a bit frazzled when he sat down for a remote press conference with reporters following Scotland’s 2-0 defeat to Czech Republic on Monday.

It has emerged that so obsessed are Uefa with serving rights holders the Scotland manager was obligated to do nine interviews prior to this traditional post-match assignment with the general press.

Broadcast companies such as the BBC and ITV have first dibs on managers following games and by the time Clarke was sitting down to face the questions from those supposedly less important members of the press he could be forgiven for looking like he wanted to murder someone.

He certainly wasn’t up for discussing the whys and wherefores of not starting Che Adams, for example. Asked about it, he replied curtly: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but no-one’s got it”. As my colleague Stephen Halliday pointed out yesterday, it was a slightly mangled William Blake quote but then who could blame Clarke for failing to recount it accurately given such full-on media commitments.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke speaks to the media ahead of the Euro 2020 match against Czech Republic at Hampden Park. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Healing powers

It was a pleasure to spend some time down at the Scotland training base at Rockliffe Hall yesterday speaking to Kieran Tierney.

The Arsenal defender did not exactly bound down to meet with newspaper reporters but he looked pretty sprightly as he was escorted to this scheduled media appointment.

Mercifully, one of Scotland’s most precious commodities negotiated a ten minute or so interview without banging his damaged calf against the leg of a table.

Indeed, the interview, where Tierney very eloquently and honestly laid bare his frustrations at missing out on Scotland’s first group game defeat to Czech Republic, seemed to me to underline the health benefits of sitting down to speak to members of the written press.

Having told us he was "50/50" to make the England v Scotland game tomorrow night, Tierney was stopped for a brief chat by David Tanner, on site for radio station talkSPORT, as he made his way back to the team hotel. Tanner later tweeted that Tierney had informed him that he was now “60/40” to be involved at Wembley, laying bare the healing properties of a pleasant natter with newspaper scribes.

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.