Steve Clarke hails Scotland progress but predicts tough Cyprus test

The national team boss has seen his side impress in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke believes his side are in “a pretty good place” after a strong start to Euro 2024 qualifying but warned that Cyprus will pose a tough test.

Four wins from four games have put Scotland at the top of Group A at the halfway stage and close to sealing a place at next year’s finals in Germany.

Having defeated Cyprus 3-0 in the opening fixture in Glasgow, Scotland are favourites to pick up another vital three points when the teams meet in Larnaca on Friday night.

Clarke says he is expecting tough resistance but insists his side are just taking the campaign one fixture at a time and not thinking about the potential prize yet.

“It’s a difficult game,” the Scotland boss said. “Obviously they are a proud team and proud to represent their country.

“They are always difficult opponents for us and they are always tight games. Two late goals at Hampden probably put a gloss on the scoreline that they didn’t deserve at the time. So it’ll be a tough game.

“We just look to continue to do what we do and go from game to game. We respect every opponent, we try to get three points and then we move on to the next game. That’s what we’ll do again.”

Reflecting on the development of the team in recent years, to the point the Tartan Army has celebrated wins over Spain and Norway in this campaign alone, Clarke said that he wasn’t surprised by the progress, and that he still saw room for more.

“I think when we qualified for Euro 2020, I remember saying that we would be a better squad and a better team,” he said. “I think we’ve proved that.

“We’ve continued to improve. I said there was improvement in the squad and we did improve and have improved and I still think there’s more. It’s a pretty good place for us to be.

“At half way in the group we’ve got maximum points and you can’t do much better than that. Some of the performances or some of the moments in games we can improve on but we don’t think for one minute that we’re the finished article.

“We know that we can continue to get better. I’ve said that, the players have said that and we want to keep improving and improving but you always respect your opponent.”

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