MX23RW : Tuesday, November 12 09:24:53| >> :600:2550718:2550718:
Oct 13, 2019 at 5pm UK at ​Hampden Park
Attendance: 20,699
Scotland
6-0
San MarinoSan Marino
McGinn (12', 27', 45'), Shankland (65'), Findlay (67'), Armstrong (87')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Clarke delighted as Scotland hit San Marino for six

Clarke delighted as Scotland hit San Marino for six
© Reuters
Boss Steve Clarke praised his side's resilience after "a tough week".

Scotland manager Steve Clarke was delighted to see smiles back on the faces of his players as he praised their resilience after a 6-0 win over San Marino.

John McGinn's first-half hat-trick set Scotland up for their biggest win over San Marino in eight meetings after four consecutive European Championship qualifying defeats, the latest a 4-0 loss in Russia.

Lawrence Shankland and Stuart Findlay both netted their first Scotland goals in a second half played in terrible conditions as the ball held up on the increasingly waterlogged Hampden surface, before Stuart Armstrong scored from a late free-kick.

Scotland ran riot at Hampden
Scotland ran riot at Hampden (Steve Welsh/PA)

Clarke said: "They showed me they have a good resilient streak. It's been a tough week for us.

"It was important we won the game but also won well, and gave the supporters something. And by the way, 20,000 people. Everybody was telling me it was going to be no attendance at all. So 20,000 people turned up, a lot of young ones there and they have seen their national team score six goals at home, so hopefully they will come back for the next game.

"I knew before the game the players were completely focused on what they had to do. They started the game quick, they moved the ball well. We got the three goals in the first half, which was great, because the conditions went more tricky in the second half.

"It would have been easy for us to slow down and see the game out but we kept pushing and pushing and pushing because we wanted to get a few goals and make sure we left this camp with at least some positivity for the next two games.

"Hopefully it repairs a little bit of the fragility that was in the squad after the four games against top opposition. It was a difficult run of fixtures and it's nice to come out and get a game like this at home.

"I saw smiles on their faces in the dressing room after the game and it's nice to see. The players deserve a lot of credit for bouncing back that way."

After conceding 13 goals in four matches, Clarke was grateful for any positives and Group I now looks more palatable with Scotland a point off third spot ahead of their final two games against Cyprus and Kazakhstan, which offer a chance to gain some confidence before the play-offs in March.

"We spoke after the four defeats about finding something to help us turn the corner," Clarke said. "If this is the first stage of turning the corner then that's great.

"I see Russia went to Cyprus and won 5-0. I told you they were a good team. And we go to Cyprus now with the chance to go above them. That would give us the opportunity to finish third in the group, which is also an objective."

Clarke was never concerned about the game being abandoned, even though a domestic match would surely have been halted in similar conditions.

Stuart Armstrong scores despite the conditions
Stuart Armstrong scores despite the conditions (Steve Welsh/PA)

"I didn't really think we ever got to that stage," he said. "For the European games I have been involved in, it takes something really, really bad for the referee to stop the game.

"The ball was moving well enough at certain times. There were bits of the pitch that were really sticky but we dealt with it."

San Marino manager Franco Varrella was also happy to keep playing.

"The ball seemed to be bouncing," he said. "If the match had been abandoned against that Scotland team it would have been good for us but, all in all, the conditions weren't bad enough to cancel the game."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Steve Clarke

Click here for more stories about San Marino

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Scotland boss Steve Clarke on October 10, 2019
Read Next:
Steve Clarke: 'Scotland must look forward'
>

Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool12111028101834
2Leicester CityLeicester128222982126
3Chelsea1282227171026
4Manchester CityMan City1281335132225
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd12453139417
6Arsenal124531617-117
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd124441612416
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves123721615116
9Bournemouth124441515016
10Burnley124351718-115
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124351517-215
12Crystal Palace124351016-615
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124351118-715
14Tottenham HotspurSpurs123541817114
15Everton124261318-514
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham123451420-613
17Aston Villa123271720-311
18Watford12156823-158
19Southampton122281129-188
20Norwich CityNorwich122191128-177

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!