Steve Clarke has ordered a backlash after against Gareth Southgate and England (Image: PA)
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Steve Clarke has insisted Scotland will banish the “doom and gloom” and bounce back against Gareth Southgate's England.
The Auld Enemy clash on Friday night at Wembley, and the Scots were digesting the fallout from their damaging opening game defeat to the Czech Republic today.
The head coach has accused critics of overlooking the “encouraging” signs in their performance despite conceding twice.
Arsenal's Kieran Tierney, their star man, did some light training at the Rockliffe Hall training base this morning and “has a chance” of being fit for selection.
Clarke has hit out at the depression over the 0-2 defeat and says he doesn't have to “shield” his players because they are ready to match England kick for kick.
He said: “The doom and gloom that followed the result, not the performance, should be put away. It is a great game to bounce back in. The player and I are looking forward to it and so will the Tartan Army.
Scotland skipper Andy Robertson suffers in their opening game defeat
“Every game is a big game. The fact it is against friends from South of the border makes it a good game for us, extra special.
“We will perform as well as we can, and give ourselves a chance against Croatia to get out of the section.
“The players are fine, the players are good. Completely relaxed, and they know what they have to do.
“My job is to analyse the performance. Unfortunately most people look at the result and take a conclusion from that. I look at the performance. We have lots (of positives.)
“Last time we played Czech Republic at Hampden we had 40pc possession. This time we had nearly 60pc possessio. It was 58-42. We dominated the ball. We had 19 shots, we could be more clinical, only four on target. Lots of blocks from the Czechs which tells you they defended well.
“So lots of things we can be positive about.
“I can't shield the layers. if they want to go online and see what is written about them, I can't shield them. We CAN speak and understand what we are trying to do. We are a group determined to do well for our country. We have shown that over the last number of games. We keep working, learning and getting better.
“Sometimes you take a negative result, bounce back, and come back stronger.
Scotland keeper David Marshall is beaten from long range by Patrik Schick
(Image: Getty Images)
Asked about his keeper David Marshall, who was beaten from 49.7 yards by Patrik Schick after being caught off his line. Clarke added: David is fine. Experienced player, knows the game.
“He has faced that type of shot 50 times in his career. It is the only time it's gone in. It happens. I don' t understand the criticism of David. The blocked shot could go anywhere. It fell perfectly for him to hit. It is one of these things. Three second after our shot it was in the back of the net.”
Clarke revealed little about Tierney's injury problem. He was a shock omission from the opener, but he said: “He did a bit of light training and we will see how he progresses. He has got a chance.
“Half of the players went to the spa, an easy morning. The rest of the group trained. They are pros and understand the highs and lows of the game. You get used to bouncing back from the lows.”
England boss Gareth Southgate has been praised for the job he's done on the international stage.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 13: Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England speaks during a TV Interview after the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Croatia at Wembley Stadium on June 13, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Clarke added: We go there and respect their ability. They are a top team, last four of the World Cup, and Gareth has done a great job.
“We didn't get off to a good start and we have to remedy that.”