Clarke speaks to media ahead of Scotland vs Northern Ireland friendly

Scotland's preparations towards Euro 2024 continue with a game against Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is speaking to the media ahead of their friendly against Northern Ireland as preparations towards Euro 2024 continue.

Following a 4-0 defeat to the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday, the national team will host Michael O’Neill’s side at Hampden on Tuesday night.

Clarke’s men are looking to end a six-match winless run dating back to a 3-0 victory over Cyprus in September which was their fifth win in a row.

They have yet to win a game since qualification for the European Championships was confirmed, losing to heavyweights England, France, Spain and the Dutch and drawing with Norway and Georgia while conceding 18 goals and scoring seven.

So the manager will be hoping they can get back to winning ways against Northern Ireland in Glasgow in what will likely be the last friendly match before Clarke names his final squad.

Clarke said: “A win would be nice, a clean sheet would be nice as well, we want another performance, we want to play well and we want to win.

“I’ll pick a team to win the game, that’s for sure. All the friendly games we have played and the games against the more difficult oppositions, obviously two difficult games against Spain in qualifying, they have served us well.

“We want to improve, I keep saying there is improvement in the squad, I think for long periods of the game (against the Netherlands) you could maybe get a glimpse of that improvement that I speak about. But then towards the end we didn’t do what we are good at and that’s why the score-line went the way it went.

“I never had to pick the players up, I think it’s the opposite way round, I think they had to pick me up. I tend to sulk a little bit longer than they do and they move on a little bit quicker than I do because I probably have a little bit more to think about than they have.

“Within the next 24 or 36 hours you are looking ahead to the next game, I get the feeling that the players just want to get on the pitch again on Tuesday night and look to improve and maybe put right a few things that went wrong for us in the later stages of the game on Friday.

“I think we can get a performance and result on Tuesday, I have no doubt we will get both.”

Clarke is looking forward to taking on Northern Ireland who are fresh from an encouraging 1-1 draw away to Romania on Friday night.

He said: “They are a young team, progressive team, Michael is quite good at talking his team down but they are very competitive. They don’t lose games by a big margin.

“They beat Denmark 2-0 at Windsor Park in their last qualifier and we got a little bit excited when we beat Denmark 2-0 at Hampden.

“They went to Romania which is a tough place to go with a young side and got a good 1-1 draw so we expect a tough challenge.”

Games against Gibraltar and Finland are also lined up for early June but they come just a week before the opening game of the Euros so the final 23-man roster could be locked in by then.

Scotland play Germany in Munich on June 14.

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