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Steve Clarke urges Scotland to forget "doom and gloom" of opening defeat

Steve Clarke urges Scotland to forget
© Reuters
Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney could return for the Euro 2020 fixture.

Steve Clarke vowed to be adaptable with his Wembley team selection as Kieran Tierney got back on the training pitch.

Tierney warmed up with a group of players who did not start in Monday's 2-0 defeat by the Czech Republic, which he missed with what Clarke described as a "niggle".

Clarke's team selection has been the subject of much debate after Scotland fell to two sublime finishes by Czech striker Patrik Schick at Hampden.

Che Adams
Che Adams, left, impressed in Scotland's defeat to Czech Republic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Scotland boss is only looking forward though although he stressed there were plenty of positives to take from Monday's game.

On Tierney, Clarke said: "He did a little bit of light training and we'll just see how he progresses. He's got a chance."

The likes of Che Adams and James Forrest showed some good touches off the bench while there have been calls for Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour to be thrown into the mix.

When asked if he would consider changes or remain loyal to his regular starters, Clarke said: "I want to be fair to the 26 players that are in the group, and that's always to try and pick the team that I think can win the game. So that's what we will do.

"We will get them all back on the training pitch tomorrow (Wednesday) and see how they are. We will look at any knocks and niggles that we have got and we will decide how we go for the next game.

Kieran Tierney
Scotland's Kieran Tierney is an injury doubt to face England (Jane Barlow/PA)

"Ideally you try and plot your way through the whole tournament but things turn up, as in the situation with Kieran, that your thoughts can be changed. You always have to be adaptable.

"I used 16 players in the game against the Czech Republic and I will probably use 16 players again.

"It's tournament football, you have got to make sure everyone is fit, you have got to make sure your team always has plenty of energy on the pitch, and I think we showed that on Monday against the Czechs and we will show that again on Friday."

Clarke has no concerns about the mental effects of defeat on his players after the hype over Scotland's first tournament game in 23 years and subsequent disappointment.

"They're professional footballers," he said. "They understand the highs and the lows of the game. You have to get used to bouncing back from the lows and they'll do that.

People outside can get carried away if they want

"People outside can get carried away if they want. We try not to get too high when things are going well and we try not to get too low when things are negative. We always prepare for the games and that's what we'll try to do again.

"The players are good. They're relaxed. They know what they have to do. We said before that we have to get the points to get out of the group and we still have a chance to do that.

"So there's a lot of doom and gloom out there because of the result – not the performance, the result. It should be put away, put to one side, so we just concentrate on the next game.

"My job is to analyse the performance. Unfortunately, most people just look at the result and take conclusions from that.

David Marshall
Steve Clarke feels goalkeeper David Marshall will be fine despite being caught out for the second Czech Republic goal (Andrew Miligan/PA)

"When we last played the Czech Republic at Hampden we probably had about 40 per cent of possession. This time we had 58 per cent. We had 19 shots at goal. We could have been more clinical – only four on target. Lots of blocks from the Czechs, which tells me that they defended well. So lots that we can be positive about."

Clarke also brushed off concerns about the mood of goalkeeper David Marshall, who made several good saves but came under criticism for his positioning before Schick netted from 55 yards.

"David's fine," Clarke said. "An experienced player, knows the game. Probably faced that type of shot, I think he said something like 50 times in his career, and that's the only time it has gone in. It happens.

"I can't understand the criticism of David. It was a shot from Jack Hendry at the edge of the box, three seconds later the ball's in the back of our net. The blocked shot could have gone anywhere. It fell perfectly for him to run on to and hit. It's one of these things."

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Kieran Tierney limps off injured during Arsenal's game against Liverpool in the Premier League on April 3, 2021
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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

FOOTBALL
· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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