Steve Clarke hails Scotland squad strength after McTominay's late goals vs Cyprus

Scott McTominay celebrates one of his two goals for Scotland against Cyprus in March 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has highlighted the value of 'squad strength' after Scott McTominay came off the bench to score twice in Saturday's 3-0 win over Cyprus in UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying.

John McGinn gave Scotland the lead after 21 minutes, but Clarke's side were unable to build on their advantage until the last few minutes of the game as McTominay wrapped up the win with goals in the 87th and 93rd minutes.

The Manchester United midfielder had replaced Stuart Armstrong after 67 minutes, when Ryan Christie also came on for Ryan Jack. Earlier, Lyndon Dykes was brought on in place of Che Adams and all three substitutes played their part in the two late goals.

“It’s all about the squad,” Clarke said. “One of the things I said to them before the game was that our squad is our strength so we need to utilise it.

"When you think of the impact of Lyndon Dykes, Ryan Christie and Scott McTominay coming off the bench, it's not bad.

"Cyprus also at that time have to come out and try to get to 1-1 so they take a defender off, open the game a little bit and we manage to capitalise on it, which is nice."

On the flip side, Clarke was unhappy with his side's pressing in the 3-0 win.

“The negative is that at times I felt we didn’t get the press quite right and it’s something I think we will have to be better at on Tuesday night against better quality opposition," he said.

"Normally our press is pretty good, especially at home so I didn’t like that and I didn’t like that we got a little bit casual in possession at times. But I think the positives outweigh the negatives."

Scotland's next game is against Spain on Tuesday.

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Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.