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Clarke: Scotland have improved already and will grow 

The manager took positives from the performances against Cyprus and Belgium.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke believes his squad has already improved in his time working with them and he sees positives from the defeat to Belgium.

The start-studded hosts overcame stubborn resistance from Scotland to win 3-0 in Brussels. Romelu Lukaku scored his first moments before the break and added a second on 57 minutes, with Kevin de Bruyne adding the third in the dying seconds.

Clarke was pleased with how his players carried out his instructions and revealed that he had told them at half time to keep faith with the system. And he reflected on the best chance for Scotland, when Scott McKenna and then James Forrest failed to take advantage of a defensive lapse by the Belgians.

"I told them to believe in the structure that we had, the way of playing that we had," he said.

"I told them not to panic if it goes 2-0, that if we get the chance to score and can make it 2-1 then it would be a nervy finish for Belgium.

"Unfortunately we fluffed our lines a little bit with the big chance for 2-1.

"My overall impression is that I saw over the ten days that I've got a really good group of players who are really committed to their country. They want to get better and they want to improve.

"We were competitive in that game tonight against the best team in the world, ranked number one, so there's a lot of positives but obviously we're professionals and we don't like to lose the game."

Having defeated Cyprus on Saturday before travelling to Brussels, Clarke now has a feel for the group of players he has been working with since succeeding Alex McLeish.

He believes there is cause for optimism after seeing evidence that the players can take on changes and climb the qualification table.

"I think we've shown with the work that we've done in this ten day camp that there are improvements," he said.

"There's room for more improvement and we have to get better with the ball.

"We defend well but we have to be better when we have the ball. 

"We have things to work on but the overall feeling that I've got is that we've grown a little as a squad of players already and in the next camp we should grow again."

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