Clarke calm as Scotland take two points from opening games

The Scotland head coach says it's too early to tell if the results are good for World Cup hopes.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke insists it’s too early to say if draws in the first two World Cup qualifiers will turn out to be positive or negative results.

After drawing 2-2 with group second seeds Austria at Hampden on Thursday, Scotland came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw with Israel in Tel Aviv.

Ryan Fraser netted after Dor Peretz had put the hosts ahead with a goal from outside the box, and neither side could muster a winner in the closing stages.

The results leaves Scotland in third place in their six team group. Top seeds Denmark are in first place after thrashing Moldova 8-0 while Austria beat Faroe Islands 3-1 to move to second.

Clarke wasn’t concerned at trailing those sides and said that the draws might turn out to be useful results or damaging in the final reckoning.

“I can’t look into the future,” he said.

“I can’t tell if it’s two good points or whether we have dropped four points and it’s going to be costly. It’s very difficult to tell.

“Everyone talks about Israel being fourth seeds. Israel are a good team and they have proven that against Scotland over the recent run of games. We have played a lot against them and there is never anything in the game.

“We are unbeaten, I don’t know if two points is good or bad. You are asking me to predict the future and I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Scotland now face the bottom seeds on Wednesday and could move up to second, depending on the match at Hampden and the scoreline when the top two meet in Vienna.

Clarke said: “If we beat the Faroes midweek which we have to look to do, we have to play well and respect the opposition because they are nobody’s mugs…. Every game at international level now is difficult. Spain scored in 93rd minute to beat Georgia, Malta drew at Slovakia, Luxembourg beat the Republic of Ireland.

“We have to respect the opposition and if we get three points by the end of the week, Austria play Denmark so one of them or both are going to drop points. So let’s see what happens.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code