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Clarke: Russia defeat has to be Scotland's lowest point

The Scotland boss accepts results have been poor but sees signs of progress.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has said that he has to make sure that the 4-0 defeat to Russia in Moscow is "the lowest of the low" and that results improve quickly.

After a solid first half in the Luhzniki Stadium, the national team suffered a collapse that ended the slim chance of qualification for Euro 2020 via the group.

A play-off place has already been secured but after losing five for seven qualifiers so far, the team finds itself in fifth place in the six-team qualifying group after another heavy defeat.

Clarke said that the collapse against Russia was down to "fragile confidence" and said he would have to make changes to build for key games.

"We conceded a soft goal," he said. "The first goal is soft, from a corner. Man on man we have to do better.

"From there we quickly found our way out the game. We allowed the game to run away from us.

"I have to put it down to fragile confidence. The players seemed to lose heart very quickly, which is unfortunate because we had done OK up to that point."

"Hard work, maybe one or two different selections in terms of squad as well as starting 11. It's something I have to look at. We can't keep conceding goals.

"You have to give a nod of your head to the quality of opposition we have faced recently in Belgium and Russia, two very good teams who I am sure will be involved in the latter stages of Euro 2020.

"But for us it's trying to make sure this is the very, very bottom of the lowest and then build from here and make sure come March we are able to be very, very competitive and get through the play-offs and give ourselves the chance to be in the same championships."

'We have to do better, we have to work harder and we have to make sure we keep improving. We have to make sure this is the lowest of the low.'
Steve Clarke

Despite a dismal start to his time as manager in terms of results, the former Kilmarnock boss said he had seen glimpses that the team could improve and adapt to what he was trying to do and he said that he believed everyone was committed and ready for the challenge of making progress.

"I think in all the games we've played, there have been moments where you can see what we're trying to do and where we're trying to get to," he said.

"But obviously the results are dreadful, no getting away from that. I'm not going to hide behind that.

"We have to do better, we have to work harder and we have to make sure we keep improving. We have to make sure this is the lowest of the low.

"On the back of back-to-back 4-0 defeats, it feels difficult. But I was brought up the hard way so I'm in for the fight and I think the players are in for the fight too."

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