Scotland 'don't want to stop' after leapfrogging England in Nations League

By Sports Desk September 27, 2022

Steve Clarke believes there is more to come from his Scotland team after they earned promotion to the top tier of the Nations League via a 0-0 draw with Ukraine, leapfrogging rivals England following their relegation.

Scotland approached Tuesday's match – played in Krakow, Poland – needing just a point to top Group B1 following home wins over Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland last week.

Although they managed just one shot on target against Oleksandr Petrakov's team, Scotland produced a fine rearguard action to cling on for the result they craved – also earning a spot in pot two for October's Euro 2024 qualification draw.

Topping the table means Clarke's men are already assured of a play-off place for the next European Championship.

And with England picking up just three points from six games to finish bottom of Group A3, Scotland will begin the next Nations League campaign looking down on their old foes.

But Clarke was focused on his own side's continued development after the match, looking forward to more against Europe's elite.

"It is a big night," Clarke said. "We wanted to win the section. We wanted to show people what happened in the summer [when Scotland lost a World Cup play-off to Ukraine] wasn't us.

"We wanted to be better this week. We pressed the big button to reset and go again, and we came up with three fantastic performances, all different but all vital. 

"I sat down with my whole staff and said we had to set a different environment and be more demanding of the players, and we have to push that agenda.

"Then I sat with the players and went through what we thought we did well in the summer and what we didn't do so well.

"We gave them a lot of information to change the system and play a slightly different way. They took it on board, and we have had a really good week. 

"Now we are in pot two and in the A league – but we don't want to stop. We want to try and get better and better."

With Clarke's contract as Scotland head coach set to expire following Euro 2024, he joked that competing with Europe's finest in League A would not be his problem.

"That'll be the next head coach," he added. "My contract is up before then!"

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