Steve Clarke never lost faith that Scotland’s goal would come despite missed chances

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Steve Clarke insists he was “expecting” Scotland to score, as he missed chance after chance before beating Ukraine 3-0 at Hampden Park.

After a goalless first half in the Nations League Group B1 game, striker Che Adams and midfielder Stuart Armstrong missed good opportunities to put the Scots ahead and some frustration could be felt in the stands.

However, in the 70th minute captain John McGinn fired before substitute striker Lyndon Dykes headed twice after substitute Ryan Fraser’s corner.

Lyndon Dykes came off the bench and scored twice (Steve Welsh/PA)

(PA wire)

Scotland are two points ahead of the visitors at the top of the table ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s visit on Saturday, which takes place before the final match against Ukraine in Poland next week.

On missed chances, Clarke said, “When you’re on the sidelines and you’re watching and your team is creating chances, you know your team has good momentum forward, you’re just waiting.

“Actually, you expect one of them to come in because he’s creating so many good chances that he believes in his players and trusts them to score and that’s what happened.

“It was a good performance and we are very pleased with it. Congratulations to the players, we give them a lot of information in a short time, most of it tedious.

John McGinn made the breakthrough (Steve Welsh/PA)

(PA wire)

“Field tours, boardroom meetings, but we took it seriously, we executed what we wanted to do well.

“It was a good game. We reached the top of the second half and the first goal would always be crucial.

“Now we have to go away and reset and get ready to go again on Saturday.

“We rested and recovered and prepared for a tough game against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

“Obviously we went there in the summer and we didn’t do ourselves justice (0-3 loss) and we want to do ourselves justice on Saturday.”

Nathan Patterson left the match on a stretcher (Steve Welsh/PA)

(PA wire)

Clarke admitted that Everton right-back Nathan Patterson’s first-half injury – who took him away on a stretcher – “doesn’t look good”, before adding: “Fingers crossed, it’s not too bad”.

The Scotland manager was pleased with the reaction of Dykes and Fraser after admitting that neither was more pleased to be starting on the bench.

He said: “It was good for the two replacements Ryan and Lyndon to come off the bench and improve the score.

“It’s up to the players. I’d say the two of them probably got into trouble with the coach for not starting the game, but that’s what you want, you want a hungry bunch.”

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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