Steve Clarke insists World Cup disappointment will not derail Scotland spirit

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Steve Clarke insists there is no chance of last week’s World Cup disappointment upsetting the harmony in the Scotland squad.

The Scots were on an eight-game unbeaten run prior to losing 3-1 to Ukraine in last Wednesday’s play-off at Hampden.

While there was understandable disappointment in the camp after missing out on a place at the finals in Qatar later this year, Clarke is adamant that his players can set about generating fresh momentum as they prepare to kick off their Nations League campaign against Armenia on Wednesday.

Ukraine ended Scotland’s World Cup dreams (Andrew Milligan/PA)

(PA Wire)

“It’s always good when we get together as a group,” he said, reflecting on the fact the squad have been together for a week between the Ukraine disappointment and the Armenia game. “We’ve built a really good spirit among the squad.

“Everyone enjoys being away together. One defeat’s not going to change that.”

Clarke has no concerns about his players’ ability to rouse themselves for the three Nations League games – home and away to Armenia and away to Ireland – over the next week.

“It’s just a normal process,” he said. “We’ve all been involved in the professional game a long time – some longer than others – and you have to learn to deal with the disappointments.



Everyone enjoys being away together. One defeat’s not going to change that

Steve Clarke

“Not everything’s going to be great for you. You have to take the knocks and move on.”

Clarke is not expecting a straightforward game against an Armenia side who bounced back from their 9-0 friendly defeat by Norway in March when they defeated Ireland 1-0 on Saturday.

“I thought Armenia were good at the weekend,” he said. “I watched the game live. You could see they had maybe suffered a little bit from their heavy friendly defeat in March.

“It took them maybe 30 minutes to settle into the game and then once they settled, they were good and they deserved their win. They finished ahead of North Macedonia to get promotion from League C to League B and North Macedonia are the team that knocked Italy out the World Cup so to do that is pretty decent.”



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