Scotland: Steve Clarke wants side to be history makers by reaching Euro 2020

Scotland: Steve Clarke wants side to be history makers by reaching Euro 2020
‘The five who wanted to take penalties all produced’ – Clarke hails players

Scotland have a “big chance” to make “a small piece of history” after they moved to within one game of Euro 2020, says head coach Steve Clarke.

The Scots saw off Israel on penalties at Hampden to set up a play-off final in Serbia on 12 November.

Scotland last qualified for a major tournament in 1998, but a return is now tantalisingly close.

“It’s a big chance. We spoke about hopefully making a small piece of history for the team,” Clarke said.

“We still have that in front of us. That was the objective, to make sure we are in the final next month and we have achieved that.”

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A goalless draw at an empty national stadium provided a nervy backdrop for supporters watching at home as neither side created many chances until extra time.

However, it was the Scots, thanks to a David Marshall save and five converted spot-kicks, who showed their mettle to progress to meet the Serbs.

Before that, though, Clarke’s team have Slovakia at home on Sunday in the Nations League before Czech Republic come to Hampden on Wednesday.

“The next two games are really big for us. We want to be successful in both,” the head coach said.

“We lost six from the squad so we will call up at least two, probably three players to pad the squad out because it’s going to be really unfair to ask players to play 120 minutes, 90 minutes and 90 minutes.”

Asked about putting a smile back on the nation’s faces, Clarke added: “I hope [the fans] are smiling tonight. I’m sure it was a long night for them sitting watching in the house.

“Serbia will be a tough trip and a tough ask, but we will look at using the next two games so we go into that game with confidence and hopefully continuing an unbeaten run.

“We are trying to build and slowly you have to build character, you have to build confidence and you have to build quality. That will come with more results you get.”

‘The boys have been practising penalties every day’ – Marshall

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