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‘Absolutely outstanding’: Clarke praises Scotland performance

The Scotland boss said the display was the best of his time in charge.

‘Absolutely outstanding’: Clarke praises Scotland performance SNS Group
Clarke said his side "bossed" Denmark at times.

Steve Clarke believes Scotland’s performance in their 2-0 win over Denmark was the best of his time in charge and that the team “bossed” a side ranked tenth in the world.

Goals from John Souttar and Che Adams capped a strong display from the national team to record one of the best results in recent years and ensure that Scotland will be seeded in the draw for the World Cup play-off semi-finals.

“A good night’s work,” Clarke told STV. “A fantastic atmosphere again at Hampden with the place rocking from start to finish.

“More importantly, it was a fantastic performance from what I keep telling everybody is a fantastic group of players.”

Clarke had to contend with a number of injuries to his squad, depriving him of key players, but he said that his side had hit the heights at Hampden.

“I would think it is [the best performance],” he said. “There was a spell in the first half when I thought we were absolutely outstanding.

“We bossed the game, bossed a good Denmark team. Obviously Denmark were missing one or two players but so were we.

“It shows the strength in depth we’ve got in the squad. It shows the ability we’ve got in the team. And it shows the way forward.

“It was important for us to secure the home play-off. Hopefully the draw is kind to us and we can continue this run.”

Praise for Souttar

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Scotland Manager Steve Clarke celebrates with John Souttar at full time during a FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park, on November 15, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 15: Scotland Manager Steve Clarke celebrates with John Souttar at full time during a FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park, on November 15, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Scotland’s opening goal was scored by John Souttar, who has come back from three serious Achilles tendon injuries that could have ended his career.

The Hearts defender was last in the Scotland squad three years ago before his lengthy spell on the sidelines and was a late call-up to the squad and a surprise starter for the game.

“It’s the best story ever,” Clarke said. “I’m so happy for John and I think everybody in Scotland is happy for him.

“I gave him a wee hug when he came off the pitch and it was quite emotional because as an ex-player and as a manager you understand how difficult it is for players when they are injured. I used to bump into John in his long two years out the game and he always stayed positive and wanted to get back.

“Even just being back in the squad he was delighted and then he gets to play. It’s not just his goal, his performance in the defence was excellent. I’m absolutely delighted for John.”