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EURO 2024 qualifiers

Scotland still have ‘work to do’ after defeats, says Clarke

Steve Clarke says his Scotland team still have “work to do” as they focus on finishing their Euro 2024 qualification campaign on a high following three straight defeats.

Scotland have already qualified for next year’s finals in Germany but are keen to return to winning ways after a 2-0 qualifying loss in Spain was sandwiched by heavy friendly defeats against England and France.

But five wins from their opening five games in Group A proved enough for a second successive qualification for the European Championship finals after the Spaniards won in Norway.

With a long international hiatus to come, Clarke is eager to ensure Scotland come away from their final competitive matches with points against Georgia and Norway before next year’s tournament in Germany.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s clash in Tbilisi, Clarke said: “The idea with the friendly matches against England and France was to test ourselves against the best and see where we measure up.

“Obviously with the results we had, we still have a bit of work to do. We will try to stay humble, respect our opponents and just try to improve all the time.”

Scotland have lost their previous two games in Georgia, defeats that proved damaging in their failed attempts to qualify for Euro 2008 and Euro 2016.

“When you go away from home against a team like Georgia, it’s going to be a difficult environment, a difficult game for us, because they are a very good side,” Clarke said from Scotland’s training camp in Turkey.

“The one game they lost heavily was against Spain and that’s a little bit of an anomaly in recent games, because all their games have been very competitive. And we expect that on Thursday.”

Clarke is without several key men including Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney and Che Adams, but he hopes players such as Josh Doig and Lawrence Shankland can seize their opportunity.

“For now, some boys are in the squad with the chance to make a big impression, not just on me but the rest of my staff and the rest of the country,” he said. “Let’s see how they perform in the game.”

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