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CLARKE ‘NO QUICK FIX’ INSISTS CELTIC STAR

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CALLUM McGREGOR insists Scotland could not expect overnight success under boss Steve Clarke.

The Celtic midfielder reckons the national squad will have to be given time to develop under the guidance of Alex McLeish’s successor.

The Scots cannot qualify from Euro 2020 Group I, but can progress to their first major tournament since 1998 via the Nations League play-offs which will take place in March.

Clarke has won just two of his six games since taking over and is now preparing his troops for the largely meaningless qualifiers against Cyprus in Nicosia on Saturday afternoon and Kazakhstan at Hampden on Tuesday night.

The Hoops star thinks too much was expected of Clarke too soon after his May appointment off the reputation he had made at Kilmarnock in leading them to European football for the first time in 18 years.

McGregor, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “Everyone thought it would be quick fix.

“But in football it’s very difficult to do that. You need to build, you need time and you need a group of players every day.

“Everyone is away playing different philosophies with their club football and then when you come together you have that week to try and implement what you want to do.

“So, I don’t think it was ever really going to be a quick fix.”

Scotland have been hit by withdrawals from players such as skipper Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Ryan Fraser and Scott McTominay.

McGregor added: “It’s obviously frustrating when boys get injured, but that’s part of football. You have to try and come up with another mix of players to get a result.

“It’s important we try to build as a squad. Everyone who is here, we try and give our best for our country.”

 

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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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