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Steve Clarke hails attitude of Scotland squad ahead of Faroe Islands qualifier

Steve Clarke file photo
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Steve Clarke praised the attitude of all his Scotland squad in their bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The national team boss is preparing for the Group F qualifier away to the Faroe Islands on Tuesday where an expected win will go a long way to securing a play-off spot.

After seven fixtures, Scotland have 14 points, seven behind runaway leaders Denmark and four more than Israel and Austria, with away games against the Faroe Islands and then bottom side Moldova to come before the final match at home to the Danes.

Clarke was keen to stress how much his whole group are contributing to the cause.

He said: “The most important part of the squad are the ones who don’t start, who don’t play.

“They are the ones who are getting the bib in training and asked: ‘Can you be Austria? Can you do this for us tactically in the training session? Can you be like Israel? Can you be like the Faroes?

“These are the players we rely on for the squad spirit. It is easy to be a great member of the squad when the head coach is picking you every match.

“The other ones are the ones who keep the squad together, who keep the spirit up.

“A lot of people get the big, big headlines, the ones who people might deem to be star names.

“To me they’re all star names. Andy (Robertson) gets it, he’s the captain. John McGinn gets it because he scores lots of goals.

“Dykesy (Lyndon Dykes) gets it for different reasons – scoring goals and missing penalties.

“Within the squad you have people like Kenny McLean. Kenny is keeping Billy Gilmour out of the Norwich side at the moment and Kenny is not getting any minutes under me. So for him to come in and be as positive as he is, is a great thing.

“Kieran Tierney doesn’t get too much big publicity off the media, but Kieran is playing out of position. He is doing a job for the team. He is fitting in well.

“Him and Andy have worked up a really good understanding on that left-hand side.

“All these things come together and that grows your squad, your group of players. It’s really important.”