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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Must be positive against Spain in Euro qualifier: Scotland manager

"Spain have to slightly under-perform but if that happens then we can get a positive result," says Steve Clarke

By AFP
March 27, 2023
Scotland manager Steve Clarke. —Twitter/@Record_Sport
Scotland manager Steve Clarke. —Twitter/@Record_Sport

GLASGOW: Scotland manager Steve Clarke has urged his side to be patient against Spain on Tuesday after they launched their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a win over lowly Cyprus.

The Scots are in buoyant mood after beginning their Group A campaign with a 3-0 home victory against the Cypriots.

However, Clarke is preparing for a tougher test against the section's top seeds, who beat Norway 3-0 at home in their opener.

"We have to be good and patient without the ball but we also have to be very positive when we have the ball," the Scotland boss said on the eve of the match at Glasgow's Hampden Park.

"We have to be ready to be out of possession a little bit more than we were at the weekend, where we dominated possession.

"It might be a little bit different in this game but it is important to stay patient and capitalise at the right moment."

Clarke said he wanted his side to be "competitive" against top teams.

"We know we have to be disciplined, organised, and play very well," he said. "Spain have to slightly under-perform but if that happens then we can get a positive result.

"I enjoy the challenge. If we are competitive and get the balance of luck on the night then you can get something from the game."

Clarke played down the fact Spain are entering a new cycle under Luis de la Fuente, who spent nearly a decade coaching the country´s youth teams before taking the top job.

De la Fuente replaced Luis Enrique, who was sacked after a disappointing World Cup campaign in Qatar.

"When one team goes over the top, the next team comes in," said Clarke.

"The new coach, Luis de la Fuente, understands the system, understands the method.

"They have changed quite a lot of players from the World Cup but all the players are still quality players, they understand the system and how they want to play."