HomeFitnessSteve Clarke happy with intensity and competitiveness in Scotland camp

Steve Clarke happy with intensity and competitiveness in Scotland camp


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Scotland boss Steve Clarke says he can see a competitive edge to training as his players aim to secure a place in the Euros squad.

Clarke and the team are preparing to face Netherlands on Friday night in the first of four friendlies before the finals tournament in Germany this summer.

The head coach can only take 23 players to the finals, meaning everyone is keen to impress him in this camp and Clarke says that’s evident on the training pitch.

“The training has been really intense but, to be fair to the players, the training is normally like that when we come together,” Clarke said.

“We have a good camaraderie in the squad and that’s something we’ve worked on over the last four-and-a-half years.

“They understand that I can only pick 23 and they’re all trying to show how good they are in training, which is fantastic.

“It drives the standard up and hopefully you see in the two games coming up that everybody is trying to show that they want to be part of the Scotland squad that goes to Germany in the summer.”

Clarke has overseen a steady improvement in the team during his time in charge but he detects something extra as the clock ticks down towards the opening game against Germany in June.

“This group of players are always competitive when they come away,” he said. “They want to do well all the time when they come away.

“It is a little bit of an extra edge because we are approaching a major tournament and they want to be involved in.

“Every game you play with your international team is a big game.

“In terms of preparation it’s important because you only have four friendlies before we get to the tournament itself.

“The better we can play, and the better we can be prepared, then the more likely it is that we’ll do well in the summer.”

Scotland go into the game with out a win in five games, having suffered defeats to England, Spain and France before drawing with Georgia and Norway in the second half of last year. While Clarke has welcomed games against top tier nations, and is looking forward to another test against Netherlands, he is keen for the team to return to winning ways.

Looking back on the five games, he said: “They were informative.

“The two results I don’t like are the two draws in the competitive games I feel that if we want to improve and get to where we want to be then these are the games that we should win so these are the games that we can improve on.

“(In the friendlies against England and France) we showed we can be competitive against these teams, that’s what we want to show tomorrow night against a very good Dutch side.

“We want to show we are improving and obviously we want a positive result as well.

“The Dutch team have good players, we expect a tough game.”

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