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McKenna: No-one can get comfortable with places up for grabs

The Scotland defender says players showed against Slovakia there will be real competition.

McKenna: No-one can get comfortable with places up for grabs SNS Group

Scott McKenna believes player performances in the 1-0 defeat to Slovakia shows that no Scotland player can take a Euros starting spot for granted.

Manager Steve Clarke made eight changes form the side that clinched qualification for Euro 2020 on Thursday, with McKenna among the players returning to the starting line-up.

Though beaten in the Nations League match, Scotland created a number of chances and were only sunk by a deflected long-range shot.

McKenna said that with everyone striving to show their qualities and earn a place in the team for the Euro finals next summer, those who did play knew they couldn’t get complacent.

He said: “There were a lot of changes from the other night just because the 120 minutes and penalties and all the emotion that came with it, but the lads that came in did their job well and on another day we could have taken at least a point.

“I think that’s very encouraging for the team going forward. No-one can get comfortable thinking they are going to play every game.

“When you have eight changes and put in the type of performance we did, it keeps everyone on their toes and makes sure everyone is doing their best to try and catch the manager’s eye, obviously looking forward to the big one in the summer, which is the Euros.”

Clarke said after the final whistle that he believed there was plenty to take from the game and that it shouldn’t be considered a step backwards after having been nine games unbeaten.  McKenna echoed his manager’s thoughts.

“Obviously I wasn’t in the camp last month but sitting at home watching it you could see that confidence,” he said.

“I think that just comes from winning games and not losing, the confidence just builds.

“You can see that with the way the boys express themselves when they go on the pitch.

“And long may that continue. Losing this game can’t set us back to the way we were a while ago.

“We just need to take confidence from the performance and keep building.”