Steve Clarke was asked for his immediate thoughts after he watched his country be drawn with host nation, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland in Group A at Euro 2024 this summer coming. The boss has now led the Scots to back-to-back tournaments after years in the cold and on the fringes of major competitions at international level.
Clarke has brought a freshness to the country and under his wise tutelage, we have developed into a side that is no longer afraid to face anyone. Likewise, we have morphed into a team that nobody else equally likes to play against. This was evident in the aftermath of Clarke leading his country to a 2-0 victory over Spain in qualification for the tournament, with Manchester City star Rodri crying sour grapes after the affair.
BBC Scotland caught up the manager after the draw to get his initial reaction to the national side being placed in Group A come June. “It’s nice to have clarity. You know who you’re going to face, you know the opposition and now we can start preparing. It’s good, you know what you’re up against it. It’s nice to be in the tournament and it’s nice to be involved in that first game and hopefully we can start the tournament off with a good match. We’ve got to make sure it’s not about the occasion, it’s about the match. We look forward to it, it’s an exciting draw. I don’t think it would’ve mattered who we got, it was always going to be exciting.”
When prompted for his views on the Hungarians and the Swiss, the former Kilmarnock boss replied: “Two good teams. We’ll be competitive in the matches, I’m sure they’ll be competitive too. It’s a good group, evenly balanced group and we look forward to it.” The country will all feel we can get out of this group, as it is by no means the most difficult one we could have conjured up. Nevetheless, we will have to be at our best when we play in Munich, Cologne and Stuttgart from the 14 June to the 23 June this year.
Those three destinations will involve a fair amount of travelling and a happy Clarke laughed when prompted about the short turnaround in Germany this summer. “I’ve got other people that do that,” he joked. “We’ve got a really good idea now of where we’ll be based. The homework can start now. I’ll watch some videos and we’ve got friendly matches in March that we have to take care of, we’ll get that organised as soon as we can.
“The homework can start now. I’ll watch some videos and we’ve got friendly matches in March that we have to take care of, we’ll get that organised as soon as we can. I’m sure they’ll handle the Tartan Army but they better be ready for a lot of Scotsman. It’s great to be involved and hopefully everybody can have a great summer.”
‘Are Germany ready for the Tartan Army?’
Steve Clarke and Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell react to Scotland’s Euro 2024 draw, which paired them with Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. pic.twitter.com/szWRZgOjNr
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) December 2, 2023