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CLARKE ANSWERS CELTIC QUESTION

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SCOTLAND boss Steve Clarke has knocked back speculation linking him with the Celtic manager’s job.

The international gaffer is one of many names put forward for the position which was vacated a week ago today with Neil Lennon’s departrure from the faltering champions after a miserable season.

Clarke, an admitted boyhood Hoops fan, insisted he is only focused on leading his country in the delayed Euro Championships in June where the Scots are scheduled to meet England at Wembley and Croatia and the Czech Republic at Hampden in their first major tournament since the World Cup Finals in France in 1998.

And the former Reading, West Brom and Kilmarnock chief added he will then switch his attention to the next competition.

Clarke was put on the spot after taking part in a Q&A by youngsters at Edinburgh-based club Team United, which supports young people with autism.

Asked if he was joining Celtic after the summer competition, the 57-year-old ex-St Mirren and Chelsea defender, as reported in the media, answered: “I will be going on a long holiday after the Euros.

“And I am contracted with Scotland until 2022, when I’ll hopefully be taking us to the World Cup in Qatar.”

Clarke was the early frontrunner for the Parkhead post following Lennon’s sudden exit.

As well as twice leading Killie to club-record Premiership points tallies, he secured West Brom’s highest Premier League finish and took Reading to their first FA Cup semi-final in 88 years.

 

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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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