Scotland next matches: Steve Clarke reveals his Euro 2024 warm-up plans - 'four decent friendlies'
The Scotland manager previously stressed his attention was firmly fixed on completing the campaign before he could start thinking ahead to June.
Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Norway brought the curtain down on a successful Euro 2024 qualifying campaign and confirmed Clarke's side would be in Pot Three for next weekend's Euro 2024 draw. First the manager was looking forward to a “couple of days” to recover before work begins in earnest.
Among the more practical details to iron out is locating a training base in Germany. There is also a window of opportunity to glean whether players such as Harvey Barnes really do want to switch international allegiance from England to Scotland.
Clarke must also decide on opposition for four pre-tournament friendlies in March and May/June. Despite Scotland’s winless run having now stretched to five games, the manager is in the market for challenging contests.
“We will go away, we will wait for the draw, we will see who is around,” said Clarke. “We will see who wants to play us, we will look for teams we want to play as well and then we will see what is the best way to go about it. But I would like competitive matches because I think you need that competitive edge. Hopefully I will pick four decent friendlies.”
Asked if moderate standard of opposition might help morale in terms of improving the chances of Scotland returning to winning ways, Clarke said this was not a factor in his thinking.
He suggested there was no point playing someone like Gibraltar, who France beat 14-0 on Saturday. The challenge is finding quality opponents who have not qualified for Euro 2024. Norway might be a candidate if Scotland had not already played them twice in qualifying.
“Competitive games,” stressed Clarke. “There are not too many easy games at international level. France might think there are one or two easier games....
"But I don’t think you learn enough from a game like that or playing a Pot Five or Pot Six team, or whatever. I will be looking for Pot One, Pot Two, Pot Three, Pot Four teams. It would be better if it were teams that aren’t going to the Euros.”
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