CRAIG BROWN was the manager the last time Scotland played in the finals of a major international tournament – TWENTY-ONE years ago.
The Scots have been in the international wilderness since reaching the World Cup extravaganza in France in 1998.
Since then, it has been failure all the way for the nation and Steve Clarke will be hoping his players will rally to the call at Hampden this evening when they take on Belgium in a vitally important Euro 2020 qualifying confrontation.
There was massive disappointment on Friday when Scotland took a 10th-minute lead against Russia through a strike from John McGinn, his first at this level, but the visitors levelled before the interval and Stephen O’Donnell disastrously diverted a right-wing cross past David Marshall for the matchwinner.
Back on June 23 1998 in Saint-Etienne, five Celtic players figured in the 3-0 loss to Morocco – Jackie McNamara, Tosh McKinlay, Tom Boyd, Craig Burley and Paul Lambert.
The defeat sent the Scots crashing out of the global competition. Before that shattering blow – where Burley was red-carded shortly after the interval – Brown’s men had lost 2-1 to the-then world champions Brazil and had drawn 1-1 with Norway.
For the record the team that played in that last finals appearance was:
Jim Leighton (Aberdeen); Jackie McNamara (Celtic, sub: Tosh McKinlay, Celtic, 54), Colin Hendry (Blackburn Rovers capt), David Weir (Hearts), Tom Boyd (Celtic); Craig Burley (Celtic), Paul Lambert (Celtic), John Collins (Monaco); Kevin Gallacher (Blackburn Rovers), Christian Dailly (Derby County) and Gordon Durie (Rangers, sub: Scott Booth, Borussia Dortmund, 83).
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