Nations League

Numbers are adding up for Scotland boss Clarke

Joy: Scotland celebrate (pic: SNS Group)

Scotland 1 Czech Republic 0
Hampden Park

It may not have been pretty at times but Scotland are enjoying their best run of international results for 32 years.

The numbers are certainly beginning to add up for manager Steve Clarke, the hard-fought victory over the Czech Republic taking the team’s unbeaten run to eight games.

Performances have been far from scintillating but football is all about results and there is no doubt the former Kilmarnock manager is delivering on that front as he attempts to rebuild confidence and morale.

The win at Hampden – a third clean sheet in a row – completed the double over the Czechs and sent the Scots clear at the top of their League B table. Two points from their last two games, away to Slovakia and Israel, are all that is required to win the group.

An early goal from Ryan Fraser, the hosts’ only shot on target, was all that separated the sides in Glasgow.

The Czech Republic dominated possession but Scotland rode their luck to take the spoils and keep the momentum building ahead of next month’s Euro 2020 play-off in Serbia, a major final within touching distance for the first time since 1998.

Match-winner Fraser said: “We can achieve anything we put our minds to.

“It’s been a year of hard work under the manager and we don’t look like conceding too many goals. If we can score one goal, we know we have a chance to win.

“The manager will stress the positives but he won’t brush away the negatives, he is always striving for us to improve.”

A delighted Clarke said: “A good performance, obviously a little bit backs-to-the wall in the second half when they pinned us in.

“If we can get one win next month we can win the group. It gives us a good platform. That’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to come out of this week with three home wins, we wanted to be in the play-off final. We’ve achieved that and we wanted to be top of the section and we’ve done that as well.”

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