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‘CLARKE COMMANDS RESPECT,’ BAIN

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CELTIC keeper Scott Bain has admitted he is excited at the arrival of Steve Clarke as the new Scotland manager.

The international No.1 hailed the appointment of the 55-year-old boss who agreed a three-year deal with the SFA yesterday to take over as Alex McLeish’s successor, as Scotzine reported.

Clarke led Kilmarnock to third place in the league this season – their highest position since 1966 – after taking over at Rugby Park the previous campaign when they were struggling at the foot of the Premiership.

After more than two decades in coaching, the much-travelled coach, who has also bossed West Brom and Reading, the former international defender has accepted a new challenge.

And Bain, speaking to The Scotsman, is delighted at the news as he said: “Steve Clarke commands respect.

“He speaks his mind, which players respect because a lot of the lads feel the same way.

“They like to speak their minds at times, too, and it’s good to have a manager who does the same.

“I’ve not really spoken to people at Kilmarnock about Steve Clarke, but I’ve spoken with him after games.

“I can only judge from the outside looking in, from Celtic playing against Kilmarnock, but it seems that nobody puts themselves above the team. Everyone works selflessly and that’s how Kilmarnock have had such good results.

“That’s why he’s a great fit as Scotland manager. He’ll have us organised and difficult to beat.

“We have a number of big games coming up and a starting point would be to make us difficult to beat.

“The main issue for the national team is that we don’t get a lot of time together, so you have to create an environment where everyone knows their jobs and is willing to work hard to get over the line for the team and the country.”

Bain played in the disastrous 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying opener against Kazakhstan in March which went a long way to getting Alex McLeish the sack after only 14 months in the job following seven defeats and five wins in his 12 games.

Clarke will take charge of the national side for the first time against Cyprus at Hampden on June 8 and then faces a trip to Brussels three days later to take on group leaders Belgium.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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