Steve Clarke Exclusive: Scotland Boss on Euro 2024, His Four-year Plan and More - Latest Global News

Steve Clarke Exclusive: Scotland Boss on Euro 2024, His Four-year Plan and More

Steve Clarke says his Scotland squad lasted four years as he didn’t want to rule out taking four goalkeepers to Euro 2024.

The head coach has named a provisional squad of 28 players, which will be reduced to 26 by 7 June, two days before Scotland depart for their training camp in Germany.

Ben Doak, James Forrest and Ross McCrorie were selected ahead of their final warm-up games against Gibraltar and Finland, with Craig Gordon, Ryan Jack and Anthony Ralston also included.

Scotland’s provisional squad of 28 players

  • Goalkeepers: Zander Clark (Hearts), Craig Gordon (Hearts), Angus Gunn (Norwich), Liam Kelly (Motherwell)
  • Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Grant Hanley (Norwich), Jack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq), Ross McCrorie (Bristol City), Scott McKenna (Copenhagen), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Anthony Ralston (Celtic), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), John Souttar (Rangers), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad)
  • Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Ryan Jack (Rangers), Kenny McLean (Norwich), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United ). )
  • Strikers: Che Adams (Southampton), Ben Doak (Liverpool), Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers), James Forrest (Celtic), Lawrence Shankland (Hearts)

Clarke spoke exclusively with Sky Sports’ Luke Shanley at Hampden Park explains his key decisions and hopes for Euro 2024…

LS: How difficult were the last few months, training the team and then realizing that you could also select three additional people?

Clark: “It’s complicated. Unfortunately, we know from the friendly games in March that we sustained significant injuries in one position, which meant we lost our first two right wingers. Going from 23 to 26 brings with it more imponderables, more goes through your head . Last week I said to my wife, ‘My head is like a clothes dryer.’ So many things went through my mind because you try to cover every scenario, look ahead, predict what will happen in the future and you can’t do that. But hopefully I have enough options to get as many results as possible to cover.”

LS: You have named a squad of 28 men. Do you have more on standby?

Ben Doak made six appearances for Scotland’s U21 national team

Clarke: “No. The reserve squad will be the U21s. There are some players who have obviously been looked at and we have thought about selection, for them it hasn’t happened yet. There is still time before we name the final squad. There is still one or two doubts in the 28 that I have. There are still games to play so those guys should all turn up and do well for Scott [Gemmill] in the U21 games, because that would be the extended squad, if you like. That brings us to almost 50 players.”

LS: Will you take four goalkeepers with you to the European Championships or will it be three?

SEVILLE, SPAIN – OCTOBER 12: Scotland's Liam Kelly (L) and Zander Clark (R) prior to a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match at Estadio De La Cartuja on October 12, 2023 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Zander Clark (right) stepped in for Liam Kelly when No. 1 Angus Gunn was injured

Clarke: “In a 26-man squad it is possible to use four goalkeepers as long as I feel I have enough cover for all the other positions. The logic behind it would be: the number 3 goalkeeper or the one who becomes the third goalkeeper. “I think Julian Nagelsmann can be bombarded in training if you do too much so that you can share the workload [Germany manager] I touched on that a little bit too because it can be a tough life being the third goalkeeper and everyone wants to have a shooting session after training and you do that for almost a month. It’s a lot of work for one man to handle. So there’s a reason to take four, but there’s also a reason to go three because I might have to cover more outfield positions and that’s going to be one of the tough decisions.”

LS: How crucial is Craig Gordon’s experience to whether he makes the final squad or not?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MARCH 19: Craig Gordon and Angus Gunn during a Scotland training session at Lesser Hampden on March 19, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Gordon, 41, is in the provisional squad alongside No. 1 Gunn (right) after breaking both legs

Clarke: “It could be Ben Doak’s dad! That’s the age difference we have in the squad. As for the goalkeepers, when you go with three goalkeepers at this stage and then one gets injured, you have a goalkeeper who hasn’t trained, who hasn’t worked. So they’ll all be working together. Craig’s experience in and around the squad will be good, even just speaking a word in someone’s ear. He’s been there, he knows his stuff. Over 70 appearances for his country and yeah, it’s nice to have him fit and involved.”

LS: Forties, 50s, 60s. Regarding international matches: How much experience do you have in your squad?

Scotland suffered defeat in their second Nations League group match in Ireland
John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Stuart Armstrong, Craig Gordon and Andy Robertson have all won over 50 caps for Scotland.

Clarke: “That’s what we’ve been working towards. I decided probably about four years ago that I would try to build a team this way. They have a lot more appearances; the more appearances they have, the more experienced they are at international level. They have the Advantage of tournament experience, albeit Covid tournament experience, but they understand the format with the three games in a very short period of time. Hopefully all this experience that we take with us into this tournament means that this summer “We can write a bit of history for Scottish football.”

LS: What do you think of the three teams we will be playing?

Ilkay Gündogan’s Germany are Scotland’s first opponents at Euro 2024

Clarke: “They’re all good, but hopefully we can be as good as them. Everyone always talks badly about Germany, but I don’t see that for the life of me. I see the squad, the players and their last two performances in the friendlies in March, and it looks like they will peak in time for their home tournament so that would be a good start. Switzerland qualifies every year and if they reach the group stage of a tournament they usually get out of the group and get in the knockout phase. Hungary, I feel, is a bit like us, plays a similar system. They are probably a nation that is on the way up and is also ahead of us in the FIFA world rankings “Something counts at the moment. So we’re going into the group as fourth-placed team, but we’re in a position to present ourselves really well.”

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Kris Boyd talks about how Scotland will approach their Euro 2024 opener against Germany and believes the team are not just in the tournament to make up the numbers

LS: Do you think the expectations of Scottish fans have increased and is that a compliment?

Clarke: “Hopefully the expectations have increased, otherwise you won’t improve. I feel like we’ve improved over the last five years. It would be nice to prove that in the summer.”

Important dates for Scotland

Monday, June 3: Warm-up phase for the Euro 2024, Gibraltar against Scotland in the Estadio Algarve, Portugal; Kick-off 5:00 p.m

Friday, June 7: Warm-up for the 2024 European Championship, Scotland vs Finland at Hampden Park, Glasgow; kick-off 7.45pm

Friday, June 7: The final 26-player squad was submitted to UEFA by 23:00

Saturday June 8th: Final 26-player squad announced

Sunday, June 9: The Scottish team flies to the base camp in the Bavarian resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Scotland’s schedule for the Euro 2024


Scotland have a history of starting tournaments, having been drawn against Brazil in their opening game at the 1998 World Cup. The game was narrowly lost 2-1 by a Tom Boyd own goal in the second half.

This time the venue is the Munich Football Arena. [Allianz Arena] Here Steve Clarke’s team begins the opening game of the Euro 2024 against the hosts Germany At 14th June.

Scotland also has to compete against permanent qualification teams Switzerland in Cologne on 19 Junewith Hungary – who reached the knockout round in 2016 – is waiting in Stuttgart on 23rd June.

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