STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Steve Clarke pleased with Scotland players' performance in Armenia win

The manager said his players coped well against a defensive side.

Steve Clarke praised his Scotland side for their attitude as they bounced back from their World Cup play-off defeat with a comfortable win over Armenia.

Goals from Anthony Ralston and Scott McKenna sealed a 2-0 win at Hampden and got th the Nations League group games off to the ideal start.

Scotland dominated the majority of the match and could have added to their two goals and Clarke said they executed the game plan against a side that set out to frustrate.

“It was good,” the Scotland manager said. “I was pleased with the way we approached the game, the speed of the ball, how we took up the right positions against a very defensive team.

“We knew we would have to work hard to break them down and that’s what we did. We kept trying the right thing at the right times and eventually we got the goals.”

Last week’s defeat to Ukraine had ended hopes of reaching the World Cup and the players and staff had been criticised after the disappointing performance. Clarke said the squad had reacted properly by focusing on the next challenge.

“Professional footballers and professional athletes have to move on,” he said. “You can’t think about the last one, you have to think about the next one.

“The next one for us was the first game of the Nations League campaign. We want to have a good campaign and tonight was a good start.”

The manager was also impressed with his two goalscorers, with Ralston making a big impression.

Clarke said: “It’s great to score a goal on your first start for Scotland, eh? I thought he was good.

“I had no real doubts about Tony because he plays for Celtic where you come up against opposition that sit in and defend and make it difficult for you. So I knew he would find the right positions on the pitch and when he got the goal it was certainly the right position.

“Scott did well. I thought the whole back three did well and worked together as a unit. Obviously for Scott to get the goal was good and if he hadn’t been so impetuous and been half a step offside he would have had a double tonight.

“It was good. It was a good night for everyone.”