MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 23:07:48| >> :60:1161:1161:

Steve Clarke challenges Billy Gilmour replacement to become "national hero"

Steve Clarke challenges Billy Gilmour replacement to become
© Reuters
Billy Gilmour's positive result will force Steve Clarke to rethink his starting line-up.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke challenged Billy Gilmour's replacement to make himself a national hero after the Chelsea midfielder's positive Covid-19 test caused isolated disruption ahead of their crucial final Euro 2020 group game.

Gilmour's positive result will force Clarke to rethink his starting line-up after the 20-year-old earned UEFA's man of the match award on his first international start during Friday's goalless draw with England.

The blow sparked fears that the Scotland squad might be decimated ahead of the Hampden clash with Croatia on Tuesday, which Scotland must win to retain hopes of progress.

But the only team-mates of Gilmour's who have been affected are his Chelsea colleagues Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount.

The midfielder was pictured embracing the two England players after the Wembley clash and the pair are isolating as a precaution pending further discussions with Public Health England (PHE).

The remaining 25 members of the Scotland squad all trained on Monday at their base near Darlington and all passed lateral flow tests afterwards, following their negative PCR tests from Sunday.

The squad flew to Glasgow in two planes and have escaped further enforced absences following talks with PHE.

Clarke claimed the news, which means Gilmour must self-isolate for 10 days, had caused "just a little bit" of disruption.

He added: "Obviously training was a little bit disrupted but the bulk of the work has been done over the pre-camp and the training days earlier in the tournament.

"You saw for yourself the team know exactly what they are doing when they get on the pitch. The team has been organised, they know what they have to do, and that will stand us in good stead.

"The only spanner it throws into the works is that Billy would have started the game and now he won't, so it's a chance for someone else to come into the team and make themselves a national hero."

On Gilmour, manager Clarke said: "He's upset, as you would expect. He has no symptoms, so hopefully his health will hold up and he will get back to playing as quickly as possible."

Billy Gilmour
Gilmour, right, shields the ball from Chelsea team-mate Mount (Mike Egerton/PA)

When quizzed about the close contacts situation and how Gilmour might have contracted the virus, Clarke said: "It's not my department. My department is getting the team ready for an absolutely massive game against Croatia and that's what I have been concentrating on.

"The medical team I have got around me are good people and they deal with that side of the issue."

Scotland defender Liam Cooper admitted news of Gilmour's test had come as a shock.

"Billy has just announced himself on the world stage and now this," the Leeds centre-back said.

Liam Cooper
Scotland defender Liam Cooper (Graham Stuart/PA)

"All I can say is that we are thinking of him. I have had Covid myself and I hope he stays symptom-free and he can recover as quickly as possible.

"I know it's difficult but I have spoken to him and he is feeling OK. We just send our love to Billy and hope he recovers as quickly as possible.

"We are gutted for Billy but it gives us that little bit more motivation to go and do him proud and hopefully we can get the job done, get the win, and then we can start looking at the other groups as well."

When asked if it had been a concern that Covid-19 had infiltrated the camp, Cooper said: "It was a shock to us. We stuck to the protocols and then this comes up.

"We just listen to the medical advice. Doc (John) MacLean has been clear and brilliant with us since day one. We have taken precautions around the training camp.

"We are gutted, I am sure he is gutted, but we have got to move on. We have a massive game and one we need to win, and that's where all our focus lies now.

"We have been playing this system under the manager for a long time now and whatever player comes in knows the role and what they need to do."

ID:452248: cacheID:452248:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:9598:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Billy Gilmour in action for Chelsea on December 8, 2020
Read Next:
Scotland dealt huge blow as Billy Gilmour tests positive for coronavirus
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32221670
United StatesUnited States25312379
JapanJapan2171240
Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!