Steve Clarke says Scotland are in high spirits ahead of a momentous occasion, explaining why this could be the time for Sheffield United man Oli McBurnie to come good.
The Tartan Army are eagerly awaiting a Euro 2020 play-off final with Serbia on Thursday night which could secure tournament football for the first time since 1998. Clarke has several options to choose from up front, including the Sheffield United striker.
Lyndon Dykes is thought to be the one to start but Clarke believes the time could be now for McBurnie to get his first goal in navy blue. The Scotland boss believes he’s due a big moment.
“There are lots of solutions,” said Clarke. “I’m still an Oli McBurnie fan because he’s still got a lot to offer us. When you look at the last two games he’s hit the frame of the goal twice and you’re always thinking in the back of your mind, ‘He’s a due a goal – there’s a goal going to come from him’.
“I’ve also got Oli Burke who can give you that pace up front that Ryan Fraser gave us. Ryan Christie was in the team and doing well for me before when he played up beside Lyndon.
“So I’ve got many, many options. I can also tweak the system a little bit to accommodate two attacking midfield players as opposed to one.”
Clarke says the Scots squad are hell-bent on getting this historic result over the line. He reckons it’s time for a generation of fans who’ve missed tournament football to finally get it.
“I think they’ve shown in recent matches that they’re certainly focused, they’re certainly determined to do well for their country,” said Clarke at his press conference. “You can feel the mood in the camp this week has been good – quite boisterous, confident – which is where everybody wanted us to be.
“I think the players are grounded. There’s no point in us getting carried away with ourselves. As a nation we’ve been here often before and never quite got over the line.
“I was still playing the last time Scotland qualified, so it’s a very, very long time ago. There is a generation that has definitely missed that atmosphere and feeling you get as a nation when you get to one of these tournaments, that proud feeling, so hopefully this group can deliver.”