Scotland coach Steven Reid has welcomed John Carver to the coaching staff after the pair worked together under Steve Clarke for the first time yesterday.
Clarke spoke last week about hoping to add Carver, who he worked with at Newcastle, to his backroom team after Alex Dyer, his assistant since he took charge of the international side, decided to concentrate on his job as permanent manager at Kilmarnock.
Carver, the former Newcastle head coach and interim manager, has been out of the game for over two years, since being sacked as manager of Greek club Omonia. The 55-year-old spent a difficult spell in charge of Newcastle in the 2014-15 season after Alan Pardew left to join Crystal Palace.
“I have not worked with John before,” said Steven. “I met him on a few occasions when I started my coaching career down at Reading. He was a regular visitor down to the training ground – obviously the connection between the manager and John goes back years and years.
“He’s another great personality to have involved in it and he has massive experience at all levels of the game. I am looking forward to it.
“As a younger coach it will be great to get his help and advice on certain things. It is obviously useful that he has a great relationship with the gaffer and knows how he works and thinks and can challenge him if needs be.”
Carver will be able to offer fresh input on the age-old debate of how best to utilise the talents of left-backs Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney. The latter has joined up with the squad for the first time since Reid became involved with the Scotland team. Injury disrupted Tierney’s early days at Arsenal following his move from Celtic earlier this year. He has not played for Scotland since a 2-1 defeat to Israel nearly two years ago.
Now Clarke – with the help of Reid and Carver – will have to decide on the best way to fit both Tierney and Robertson, his skipper, in the team. Tierney got one over on Robertson in Saturday’s FA Community Shield final at Wembley, when Liverpool lost to Arsenal on penalties. Robertson did, however, have an excellent game. Tierney also tasted success in the delayed FA Cup final earlier this month when Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2-1.
“It was obviously interesting watching them both playing at the weekend at the Charity Shield,” said Reid.
“It is the first time I have worked with Kieran – he has not been involved with a squad since I have been here. It has been great to actually see him out on the grass and see what a winner he is as well.
“Right away you pick up on his work ethic, his attitude to training. He does not like losing any type of little game even in training – that’s the type of attitude you want in and around the squad. That winning mentality.
“Those two games at Wembley that he’s played in, he’s starting to get the silverware in England as well. It has been a difficult period for him at the start with the injuries but that seems to be behind him now. Hopefully he can kick on for club and while we’re here, more importantly, for country.
“Kieran has played numerous positions going back some time now,” Reid added. “Obviously at Arsenal in more recent times he has been playing in that left-sided centre back role, left wing-back and has also played right back some of the time.
“It is just about assessing first and foremost the best team to challenge the weaknesses of the opposition and then go from there.”
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