Nathan Patterson has 'proved me right' at Everton says Steve Clarke as Scotland boss reveals Frank Lampard chat
Before the start of this season, Nathan Patterson had earned more international caps than he had first team starts at club level.
It was a curious situation for the 20-year-old, where he had emerged as Scotland’s first choice right wing-back, with 10 caps to his name, before he had managed to do so at Rangers, then Everton, following his £12million January move.
Now, for the first time, Patterson will arrive for national team duty this week as a fully fledged club regular, having started all six of Everton’s Premier League fixtures so far this season, with a seventh expected against West Ham United at Goodison Park this afternoon.
Having become the first manager to properly put his faith in the youngster, Scotland head coach Steve Clarke is delighted that Frank Lampard is now on the Patterson bandwagon having told the Everton boss that he would not regret his decision to play the young Glaswegian.
“I think everybody knows I like Nathan, I like the way he plays full back, I like the way he plays wing back, he is a great kid and a good character," Clarke said.
“I spoke to Frank towards the end of last season and he was going to play Nathan against West Ham but he got injured in training. I said I am sure once the boy gets the chance to play I am sure he won’t come out of your team.
“Thankfully – so far – I have been proved right.
“He is a good character, wants to be successful, wants to be good. He wanted to challenge himself in the EPL and with his performances so far he has done that. It has been a brief spell and he has to continue at that level. That is what it is all about.
“He plays with the right attitude and the right spirit. He wants to be successful, he wants to be a winner and the more winners you can have in the squad the better.”
Everton fans appear to have already taken Patterson to their hearts with the youngster earning rave reviews for his all-action performances.
“You can see it. Everton fans are not dissimilar to the fans up here,” Clarke said. “They want to see their boys go into tackles, they want to see committed. That is what he is see, he is a committed player.”
Scotland complete their Nations League campaign with a trio of fixtures inside six days, starting with back-to-back games against Ukraine and Ireland at Hampden on Wednesday and Saturday, before a trip to Poland for the away fixture against Ukraine the following Tuesday.
Three positive results are required to top Group 1 in League B, and so guarantee at least a play-off place for Euro 2024 and promotion to the A tier.
To stand a chance, Scotland will require a vastly improved performance than they produced in the World Cup play-off semi-final against the war-torn Ukrainians in June.
“We’ve got some ideas on what went wrong against Ukraine,” Clarke added.
“On the night, they played as well as they could and we didn’t reach anywhere near our levels.
“If we get to our level and they play as well as they can again, we’ll see what the outcome will be.”
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