Steve Clarke is ready to get on with Euro 2020 after win in final warm-up game
Steve Clarke is ready for the real action to begin at last after Scotland beat Luxembourg 1-0 in their final Euro 2020 warm-up match.
After an encouraging 2-2 draw with Holland in Portugal last Wednesday, a Che Adams goal against the 10-man home side at the Stade Josy Barthel set the Scots up nicely for their European Championship opener against Czech Republic at Hampden Park on June 14.
Adams’ goal came in the 27th minute before Luxembourg defender Vahid Selimovic was shown a straight red card for a ‘last man’ foul on Lyndon Dykes.
Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour who came on at half-time for his second cap, had to go back off after a shuddering challenge but Clarke revealed the 19-year-old was “fine” as he looked forward to Scotland, with just two defeats in 16 games, making their first appearance at a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup finals in France.
He said: “We had lots of chances. Lyndon Dykes is in there a little bit disappointed in himself that he didn’t get the match ball to be honest, he had so many chances.
“Che had a few as well. It was nice to work with the two strikers. I wanted to have a look at them in one of the two games so it was nice to have a look at them.
“I wanted to have a look at a different combination in midfield with John McGinn and Scott McTominay and that was interesting and there was more game time for some of the players that required it.
“So, good exercise, good training camp, two good friendlies and I can’t wait for next week. We are in a good place.”
After the opener against Czech Republic, Scotland travel to Wembley to play England before returning to Glasgow to face Croatia.
The former Scotland defender said: “We are going try to be on the front foot as much as the opponents allow us. We are playing good teams so at times we might suffer without the ball.
“But when we have the ball, we are going to be on the front foot and create chances like we did tonight and against the Dutch the other night. We look forward to it. It is a tournament that has been a long time coming and we want to make the most of it.”
Luxembourg substitute Olivier Thill might have got a red card instead of a yellow for a shuddering challenge on Gilmour which shook the young Scot who was replaced by James Forrest.
“There is no concussion as far we know,” said fellow Ayrshire man Clarke, pleased that he was able to give Rangers’ 19-year-old right-back Nathan Patterson his debut in the second half.
“He is a tough boy. He is from Ardrossan. The good news is he is fine. We took him off as a precaution. The doctor will assess him over the next couple of days. I didn’t really get a good view of the challenge, I haven’t seen it back yet.
“It is one of these things, it happens in football and the reaction of the players was good, they got around it for a little bit of protection, showing they are together.
“But let’s not make that the big story, the big story is that we are now fully prepared for our first tournament in 23 years so let’s look forward to it.”
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