Steve Clarke tells Euro 2024 hopefuls to 'cross fingers' and hopes Norway manager's Scotland prediction comes true
The Scotland manager might struggle to draw too many conclusions from a chaotic evening at Hampden Park, with the players seeming to get caught up in the party atmosphere. It was Scotland's first match at home since their participation at Euro 2024 was confirmed last month.
The hosts were pegged back with three minutes left when former Celtic forward Mohamed Elyounoussi headed in at the far post. Scotland had taken the lead for the first time in the game just before the hour mark through a well-worked Stuart Armstrong goal.
Clarke said he would take a couple of days to recover before analysing the two draws with which Scotland finished the campaign, having shared four goals with Georgia last week.
“We were a yard off it first half, much better second half. I need to go away and analyse it,” he said. “It was a nice night for supporters to say thank you to team, and for the team and staff to thank the supporters. That part of the night was pretty good.
“I’ll probably spend the next couple of days recovering, take a bit of time to myself. Then I’ll look back at Georgia and Norway, see what I could have done better, see what the players could have done better.
“Then I’ll get myself ready for a trip to Hamburg (for the draw), which is great. We’re in the draw and that’s something everyone can look forward to next summer. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Asked what the players can do now as they seek to stay in or play their way into his thoughts, he said: "Stay fit, play well for their clubs. That’s about it, really. Cross their fingers!”
Although Scotland are now confirmed as a Pot Three team ahead of next month’s Euro 2024 draw, it was of little concern to Clarke. There had been a chance they might have secured a Pot Two place.
“I’m not bothered," he said. "I don’t even know who else is on Pot Three and Pot Two. I’m sure I’ll find out when I get to Hamburg.”
Norway coach Stale Solbakken said afterwards that he expects Scotland to be a “handful” in Germany. “That would be the intention, to go there and compete," said Clarke. “What we’ve worked hard at is being very competitive every time we go on the pitch.
“We’re Scotland. We have a certain way of playing. We have a style. We like to play on the front foot. Hopefully the Norway manager is right when we get to Germany."
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