‘We want to do ourselves justice’: Scotland boss Steve Clarke targets revenge mission against Republic of Ireland after atoning for World Cup play-off loss by Ukraine
- Scotland beat Ukraine 3-0 in the Nations League on Wednesday night
- Steve Clarke’s side leapfrogged the visitors to take the lead in Group E
- John McGinn opened the scoring in the second-half with a well-taken finish
- Super-sub Lyndon Dykes scored two identical headers to round off victory
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Steve Clarke watched Scotland storm to the top of Nations League Group B1 with a stunning 3-0 win over Ukraine at Hampden then called on his players to deliver a repeat against Ireland on Saturday.
On a night when his side created plenty of chances, captain John McGinn made the breakthrough 20 minutes from time. Lyndon Dykes then headed two goals from corners by fellow substitute Ryan Fraser to ensure an emphatic and deserved victory.
That saw the Scots partially atone for their World Cup play-off loss to Ukraine in June.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke has called on his players to deliver a repeat against Ireland
And with Ireland at Hampden on Saturday, Clarke wants his side to atone for the debacle in Dublin when his side lost 3-0 in June before heading to the final Nations League game against Ukraine in neutral Poland on Tuesday.
The Scotland boss said: ‘It was a good performance and we were really pleased with it. Now we have to go away and reset for Saturday.
‘We go away and rest and recover and get ready for a tough game against the Republic of Ireland at the weekend.
‘Obviously we went out there in the summer and didn’t do ourselves justice. We want to do ourselves justice on Saturday.
Steve Clarke’s side leapfrogged their opponents and are now in pole position in Group E
‘Is Ireland the perfect game for us? Without being disrespectful I would rather play San Marino. No, listen, it is another game. Hopefully we can have a similar performance and similar result.
‘These boys want to be successful for their country. They have shown that over a number of matches. In football things don’t always go your way.
‘You get difficult moments. The key thing is to respond to them.
‘We’ve responded tonight but we have to respond again on Saturday because we want to be in a position going to Poland to play Ukraine in the last game where we have a realistic chance of being top of the section.’
Clarke reverted to four at the back instead of favoured three and his outstanding Scotland secured a two-point advantage at the top of the table with just two matches remaining.
Captain John McGinn opened the scoring with a well-taken finish in the 70th minute
He said: ‘I’ve been saying for a while I want a squad capable of playing more than one system. Was it a risk? The only risk was you guys would have caned me if I’d got it wrong.
‘We gave the boys a lot of information in a very short space of time, most of it boring.
‘We took them through walk-throughs on the pitch and we had meetings in the meeting room.
‘They took it on board and they executed well what we wanted them to do.
‘It was a good performance, congratulations to the boys.’
But there was a big blow when Everton right back Nathan Patterson came off injured in the first half. He was replaced by Aaron Hickey who had a fine game, like so many in dark blue.
Lyndon Dykes came off the bench to score two headers late on against Ukraine in the 3-0 win
Clarke said: ‘Nathan has to go away and get assessed. It does not look like a good one. Fingers crossed it is not too bad.
‘But I was pleased for Aaron Hickey. Everybody forgets his age and his experience.
‘I think tonight he probably felt more like an international player.
‘He grew into the game really well. He came in and I thought he was really good.
‘It wasn’t an easy job to come on and play against Mykhaylo Mudryk who a lot of people are looking at. Mudryk has good pace but Aaron dealt with him well.
‘We have good strength in depth and that’s what we are trying to build.
‘You need a good squad obviously with three games in a very short space of time.’