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CLARKE HIT BY ANOTHER KO

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STEVE CLARKE has been hit by another injury setback with the withdrawal of Norwich City midfielder.

The Scotland international boss, who lost centre-back Grant Hanley and anchorman Ryan Jack at the weekend, will now be without the services of the former Aberdeen star for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Russia in Moscow tonight.

Manager Steve Clarke, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “It’s always disappointing to lose a player so late in the week.

“When Kenny reported, he had a little niggle – it’s not correct for me to say what it is, that’s for his club to work out – we were all pretty confident that Kenny would make it, but the last 24 hours it didn’t get any better, it actually got a little bit worse.

“So, we made the decision to allow Kenny to go back to Norwich.”

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE…assistant boss Steve Reid and the Scotland players sample the Luznhiki stadium in Moscow last night.

The Scotland boss has already given up on automatic qualification, with the Scots nine points adrift of the second-placed Russians with four games left while the hosts are also 22 goals better off.

Clarke, who will also be without suspended Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay,  is building for the play-offs in March. but he will not sacrifice the potential to get results to experiment.

He added: “I would like to pick up 12 points from the remaining four games. Obviously, it’s a tough one in Russia, but there are no free hits.

“We owe it to the thousand or so Tartan Army fans who are coming over, as well, to put on a good performance and, hopefully, go away with three points.

“Every match you go into you want to achieve the maximum, which is three points. I want a good performance level in the next four matches.

“My belief is always that if your performance level is good enough, the points will follow.”

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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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