Steve Clarke never lost faith that Scotland would score despite missed chances

Steve Clarke insists he “expected” Scotland to break through as they missed chance after chance before eventually beating Ukraine 3-0 at Hampden Park.

After a scoreless first half in Nations League Group B1 play, striker Che Adams and midfielder Stuart Armstrong missed good opportunities to put Scotland ahead and some frustration was evident in the stands.

In the 70th minute, however, skipper John McGinn fired into a drive before substitute forward Lyndon Dykes headed in twice from the corners of fellow substitute Ryan Fraser.

Lyndon Dykes came off the bench and scored twice (Steve Welsh/PA)

(PA wire)

Scotland are two points clear of the visitors at the top of the table ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s visit on Saturday, ahead of the final against Ukraine in Poland next week.

On the missed chances, Clarke said: “When you stand on the sidelines and watch and your team creates chances, you know your team has good forward momentum, you just wait.

“You actually expect one of them to go in because you create so many good chances, you believe in your players and you trust them to score and that’s what happened.

“It was a good performance and we are very happy with it. Congratulations to the players, we give them a lot of information in a short time, most of it boring.

John McGinn made the breakthrough (Steve Welsh/PA)

(PA wire)

“Walk-throughs on the pitch, boardroom meetings, but we took that on board, implemented what we wanted to do well.

“It was a good game. We got through the second half and the first goal was always decisive.

“Now we have to go away and reset and prepare to get going again on Saturday.

“We’re resting and recovering and preparing for a tough game against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

“Of course we went out there in the summer and didn’t do ourselves justice (0:3 defeat) and we want to make things right on Saturday.”

Nathan Patterson left the game on a stretcher (Steve Welsh/PA)

(PA wire)

Clarke admitted Everton right-back Nathan Patterson’s first-half injury – which had him carried away on a stretcher – “doesn’t look good” before adding: “fingers crossed it’s not that bad.”

The Scotland manager was delighted with the reaction from Dykes and Fraser after admitting neither was very pleased to start on the bench.

He said: “It was nice for the two substitutes, Ryan and Lyndon, to come off the bench and improve on the score.

“That belongs to the players. I’d say both probably had the head coach’s hump for not starting the game, but that’s what you want, you want a hungry group. Steve Clarke never lost faith that Scotland would score despite missed chances

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