STEVE CLARKE has called on the SPFL chiefs to make a scheduling decision that would allow time for the national side to train ahead of the qualification matches. Scotland are to play Israel in October with the winners playing either Norway or Serbia for a place at Euro 2020 next summer and Clarke believes that the league officials should schedule two blank weekends to aid the national team.
As reported by the Daily Record, Clarke realises that this request may be difficult but he hopes that they can accommodate as to allow the Clarke’s side the best chance at qualification.
“We have already made our representations to the SPFL. They obviously haven’t released fixtures for next season yet but we have asked them to treat us as kindly as possible in the lead-up to those games.
“In realistic terms that would mean the cancellation of the SPFL fixtures for the October game. A free weekend would free more than half the squad and allow us to go into the Israel game nice and relaxed.
“We’ve also asked for a provisional cancellation for the second game in November because if we get through the first game it becomes really important as well. That is what we would hope for.
“Listen, I understand the complexities of fixtures and scheduling and the needs of individual clubs with European games.
“You will have all the problems that we had leading up to the March game in October and November but hopefully we can find a sensible solution.”
Whilst a break would be ideal for the national team’s qualification tilt, it would also give some rest for the squad that aren’t involved in International games.
The Scotland manager is hoping to end a 23-year wait for Scotland to feature at a major tournament. Clarke’s message is a timely message with the fixtures set to be announced next Friday.
The league season is due to kick off at the beginning of August but as Scotland looks to progress into Stage 3 of the Coronavirus roadmap out of lockdown, there is a chance that supporters will be able to get back into the ground.