Steve Clarke believes Italy and Portugal will be wary of facing his Scotland side in the World Cup play-offs next March after finishing their group-stage campaign on a high
- Steve Clarke believes Italy and Portugal should be wary of his Scotland team
- Scotland have booked their spot in the World Cup play-offs next March
- They could meet the likes of Ronaldo and Lewandowski for a place in Qatar
- However, Clarke insists his Scotland side would be a ‘tough’ test for anyone
Steve Clarke believes the likes of Italy and Portugal will be wary of being drawn with Scotland in the World Cup play-offs.
His side are one of Europe’s in-form nations after six victories on the spin saw them finish just three points behind group winners Denmark, who they beat 2-0 at Hampden Park on Monday.
That run has secured a place among the seeds ahead of March’s matches for a place in Qatar, meaning a home semi-final awaits.
Steve Clarke believes Italy and Portugal should be wary of drawing Scotland in the play-offs
Scotland have booked their spot in the World Cup play-offs after finishing second in Group F
However, news of European champions Italy and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal dropping into the play-offs has tempered the mood ever so slightly here in Glasgow.
But Clarke, when asked about the ‘big teams’ they could yet face, said: ‘Scotland is in there too. If anybody watched the Denmark game they will be thinking it will be tough (to draw Scotland).
‘We wanted to finish the campaign on a high and I think you saw the way we approached the game we were very positive. We risked a lot and on the night we were the better team.
‘We were criticised during Euro 2020, but we learned from the tournament. I don’t know if anybody remembers that, when we went to the tournament, I said we would come out of it as a better team and squad. We have improved – the fact is we have been together. We have come a long way in a short space of time, and it’s great.’
They could be drawn against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the March play-offs
Southampton striker Che Adams was on target during both last Friday’s 2-0 win in Moldova and against the Danes.
The 24-year-old has emerged as Scotland’s main striker since declaring his allegiance earlier this year, and Clarke added: ‘He is not bad, Che McAdams. He is a good player, I have always said that.
‘Like most strikers, he needs confidence. He has scored a few goals for Southampton and he is in a good place.
‘He got his goal against Moldova and you saw his goal against Denmark – he showed great composure. It was everything about him against three strong and physical centre-backs. Che is not the tallest, but he is a strong b****r.’