As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Clarke pleased as Scotland earn promotion point against Ukraine

A depleted Scotland earned promotion to the top tier of the Nations League - and a Euro 2024 play-off place - after a defensively disciplined and brave display clinched the point they needed against Ukraine.

Missing 10 important players, Steve Clarke's side rode their luck at times in Krakow as Ukraine created several clear cut chances.

But profligacy and some wonderful goalkeeping from Craig Gordon earned a vital point which sealed Scotland top spot in Group B1.

It also capped an impressive turnaround for the national side after the disappointment of losing to Ukraine in June's World Cup play-off, and puts them into Pot 2 for the qualifying draw for the European Championships on 9 October.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke said: "In terms of moving on from summer camps, I sat down with the whole staff and said we have to set a different environment, demand more of the players. Then I sat down with the players, and gave them a lot of information to change the system and play a slightly different way. These players are desperate to do well for their country and they have had a great week."

On promotion to League A, he added: "That'll be the next head coach - my contract is up before then!

"We went to Serbia and got the result in the [Euro 2020] play-off to get to our first tournament in a long time, we had the [World Cup] play-off where we came up just short. We had the European Championship, where we got to the last game and came up just short. We've done it again and taken this campaign to the last game. I asked the players to take the next step, because then we'll feel good about ourselves.

"The connection between the players and fans is fantastic. We don't want to stop, we want to keep getting better. With this group of play-offs I don't think we'll need the play-offs."

Video of the day:

About the author

Paul Vegas

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free