MX23RW : Sunday, October 24 19:59:12| >> :600:865408:865408:

Scotland boss Steve Clarke blames team shape for defeat to Denmark

Scotland boss Steve Clarke blames team shape for defeat to Denmark
© Reuters
Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle struck for the Danes in the first half.

Steve Clarke insists team shape rather than personnel was behind Scotland's dismal first-half performance in the 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by Denmark in Copenhagen.

With right-sided defenders Stephen O'Donnell and Nathan Patterson unable to make the trip for Covid-19 reasons, Clarke sprung a surprise by moving his captain Andy Robertson to right wing-back with Kieran Tierney on the left.

Two goals in 15 minutes from Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle had the Scots on the ropes and they struggled for the rest of the half.

Clarke brought on striker Lyndon Dykes for centre-back Scott McKenna, moved Ryan Fraser back to right wing-back, returned Robertson to his natural left-sided position with Tierney moving into the back three and Scotland looked more stable but by then it was too late.

The Scotland boss, who insisted his side are "still in the group" despite having only five points from 12, said: "It wasn't an experiment, it was something that I was forced into doing in a way.

"I could have made other options but I felt that was the best way to start the game, experienced players on the pitch. I don't think it was so much the personnel, it was the shape of the team.

"We allowed Denmark to pin us back, we made the pitch too long and the midfield couldn't get close to the opposition midfield, we couldn't get a handle on the game and I think it came more from team shape than personnel.

"It was a difficult first half for us, the Danish team started really well with good intensity, power and pace.

Scotland concede a goal
Scotland were 2-0 down inside 15 minutes (Claus Bech/PA)

"We had to weather the storm and we couldn't do that, we conceded two goals in quick succession which made it a long night for us.

"From 30 minutes in we started to get a foothold in the game but the game was a little bit beyond our reach at 2-0 down, it was always going to be a tough night after that.

"But I think we showed some signs towards the end of the half that we could get the ball down and we could play.

"We had to be braver on the ball under pressure and I think we were in the second half, the shape was better, we played five yards further up the pitch which allowed everyone to be more connected and it was a better second-half performance."

Liverpool left-back Robertson insisted that he simply answered the call of duty.

He said: "The gaffer asked me and I said, 'yes, no problem'. We were obviously short at right-back so the options were limited.

"The gaffer spoke to me and I didn't hesitate and I will never hesitate, as long as I am playing for my country then I am happy.

"Of course I think you have seen in the second half I was a wee bit more comfortable on the left, that's natural but on the right I gave it my best shot, I tried my best but unfortunately in the first half none of us were quite good enough.

"We took too long to settle into the game, me included, and we were all a bit too deep. It is what it is. Right wing-back was new to me but I will never shy away from it."

ID:461925:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect7236:

Click here for more stories about Steve Clarke

Click here for more stories about Denmark

How you voted: Denmark vs Scotlvs

Denmark
75.2%
Draw
12.2%
Scotland
12.6%
294
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal in June 2021
Read Next:
Wednesday's World Cup qualifying predictions including Portugal vs. Ireland
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Scottish League One
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
J1 League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea97112332022
2Liverpool96302762121
3Manchester CityMan City96212041620
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham95221610617
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs9504913-415
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231615114
8Everton94231514114
9Leicester CityLeicester94231515014
10Arsenal94231013-314
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves941499013
12Brentford9333119212
13Aston Villa93151315-210
14Watford93151217-510
15Crystal Palace91621114-39
16Southampton9153812-48
17Leeds UnitedLeeds9144816-87
18Burnley9045715-84
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212

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!