Scotland head coach Steve Clarke has signed a brand new deal to stay in command of the nationwide workforce till 2026.
On the eve of the opening Euro 2024 qualifier in opposition to Cyprus at Hampden Park, Clarke has dedicated to a brand new contract that can see him keep till after the World Cup.
Clarke’s first match was in opposition to Saturday’s opponents, Cyprus, in 2019 and kickstarted the workforce’s marketing campaign that noticed Scotland attain Euro 2020 – their first main finals since 1998.
Since then, Scotland loved promotion to the UEFA Nations League Group A, and regardless of lacking out on the Qatar World Cup, Clarke has now set his sights on returning to a different main match subsequent 12 months.
“I’m proud that my teaching workforce and I’ll proceed to steer the workforce by the following two qualifying campaigns, in addition to Nations League Group A, however having the ability to take action is a testomony to the squad of gamers who’ve been central to our enchancment,” Clarke stated.
“The rapid focus is making certain a optimistic begin to our Euros marketing campaign in opposition to Cyprus, who have been the opposition for my first match in cost in 2019.
Nearly 4 years since Steve Clarke took cost of Scotland, and on the eve of a brand new qualifying marketing campaign, assistant John Carver believes the present squad is ‘evening and day’ to his first
“Once we named our squad for the double-header, I spoke with my coaches about how the standard and depth of the squad has advanced in these 4 years. We now have an skilled core who’ve been constants all through, however we have now additionally added high quality and competitors in each space of the workforce.
“We additionally performed that recreation in entrance of round 30,000 followers and can stroll out on Saturday, and Tuesday in opposition to Spain, to a full home at Hampden Park.
“It is crucial that we hold the followers and the nations engaged and entertained and that’s one thing we’re all dedicated to attaining by profitable video games and qualifying for extra main tournaments, beginning with Germany subsequent 12 months.”
Clarke deal was ‘one of many best selections’
SFA chief govt Ian Maxwell (proper) has praised the job Clarke has finished as Scotland boss
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief govt added: “This has been one of many best selections and conversations throughout my time as chief govt.
“Steve has united the nation behind a profitable males’s nationwide workforce and as we look ahead to a brand new UEFA Euro 2024 marketing campaign, it was necessary we demonstrated our dedication to Steve and his backroom workforce, and acknowledged the continuity that has been key to our enchancment up to now 4 years.
“I understand how decided the squad are to return to a significant last after experiencing Euro 2020 and whereas everybody was upset to not have reached the World Cup in Qatar final December, securing promotion to Nations League Group A was one other signal of the plain progress made.
“I am certain the followers will share the Scottish FA’s pleasure and we want Steve and his squad all one of the best for the forthcoming double-header.”
How has Clarke reworked Scotland?
Clarke has modified the make-up of his Scotland squad over the previous 4 years
Since taking cost virtually 4 years in the past, how a lot has Clarke modified from that opening recreation in 2019?
Scotland required a late aim from Oliver Burke at Hampden Park to edge previous Cyprus and ultimately certified for Euro 2020.
Nonetheless, of those that featured that evening – simply six gamers stay in Clarke’s present squad, with Callum McGregor the one Scottish Premiership participant to be in each.
There have been 11 outfield gamers from Scotland’s prime flight in Clarke’s preliminary squad again then, however Rangers’ Ryan Jack joins McGregor and late addition Anthony Ralston as the one three outfield representatives this time.
The remainder are dominated by gamers from the Premier League and Sky Guess Championship. There’s additionally Lewis Ferguson, who’s impressing in Serie A with Bologna.
Whereas some might query the drop-off in outfield gamers from the Scottish Premiership making the lower, 12 of Clarke’s present group all featured within the prime flight earlier than making the transfer down south or overseas as competitors will increase for a spot within the group.
Clarke’s assistant John Carver believes this squad is “evening and day” from his first and exhibits how far the nationwide workforce has come.
“I feel the standard is getting higher on a regular basis. I feel we’re upgrading the gamers and the fellows who’ve performed for us up to now have been wonderful,” he stated.
“Steve confirmed me the squad he picked 4 years in the past and he confirmed me the squad that we have now now and with all due respect to these guys it is evening and day.
“That is proven progress over the 4 years that this group of gamers have made, however they are going to solely be judged on what occurs on this match now.”
Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifiers:
March 25: Scotland vs Cyprus, kick-off 2pm
March 28: Scotland vs Spain, kick-off 7.45pm
June 17: Norway vs Scotland, kick-off 5pm
June 20: Scotland vs Georgia, kick-off 7.45pm
September 8: Cyprus vs Scotland, kick-off 7.45pm
October 12: Spain vs Scotland, kick-off 7.45pm
November 16: Georgia vs Scotland, kick-off 5pm
November 19: Scotland vs Norway, kick-off 7.45pm