Steve Clarke: Scotland coach says his players are feeling the love from the Tartan Army ahead of Faroe Islands clash
Steve Clarke was happy to see his Scotland players feel the love from the Tartan Army after the last-gasp 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over Israel at Hampden Park, calling on his side to carry that momentum into their clash with the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Scott McTominay’s dramatic winner in added time on Saturday kept the Scots in second place in Group F with a play-off spot in their own hands ahead of Tuesday’s game away to the Faroe Islands.
The Scotland squad took the acclaim from a sold-out Hampden after the game which, having qualified for Euro 2020 with a penalty shoot-out win behind closed doors in Serbia, gave the players a feel-good factor, according to Clarke.
He said: “It was important the other night, not to milk it, that’s not the right phrase, but for the public and the players to have that little moment after the game.
“It was a group of players who qualified for that major tournament after 23 years and they did that in an empty stadium and there has never really been the chance to have that interaction between the players and the supporters.
“That was the nice thing at the end of the game that we could do that. Obviously we scored a goal after 93 minutes and everybody has that euphoria. But there was still 50,000 in the stadium, they all waited, they believed in the team, they believed we could nick it 3-2 which we did. It was a nice moment.
“It was good for the confidence, good for the belief and good for them to feel loved. Footballers are no different from anyone else, we all like to feel the love.
“We are human beings, everybody likes to feel that little bit of adoration and little bit of love. These players have worked hard to do what they have done for their country, I keep saying they want to do well and you see that.
“It was a good moment but one we have to park now and get ready for the next tough challenge.”
Clarke has been urging his players to take nothing for granted against the Faroes on Tuesday and it seems he has been going to extreme lengths to make sure their heads are in the game.
“I’ve got little spies walking around the camp, people listening to players and their conversations,” he added.
“The more senior ones who recognise the dangers and the pitfalls of these games telling the younger ones what it’s going to be like over there and how difficult it’s going to be.
“Everyone around the camp is just trying to get the mood right.”