Scotland manager Steve Clarke is confident his side can handle the “high tension” of the World Cup playoffs after being drawn to face Ukraine in the semi-finals in March at Hampden.
Clarke’s side are two games away from the World Cup and, should they beat Ukraine, would face the winner of Wales v Austria for a place in Qatar next winter.
After guiding his side through the Euro 2020 playoffs, Clarke thinks the players will be excited ahead of the Ukraine clash early next year.
“We have shown over the course of the play-offs for Euro 2020 we can handle the high tension of those semi-final and final games,” Clarke said.
“Hopefully we can prove that again in March.
“Listen, there is a lot of time to go before we get to the matches but I’m sure all the players who are hopeful of being picked come March will be raring to go.
“It is something to look forward to.
“We certainly won’t be distracted by it. We always treat our immediate opponents with the utmost respect.
“So that’s what Ukraine will get. They will get all our respect.
“We will approach the game with a bit of humility and we will do as well as we can.
“Over the winter months we will have to prepare for either Wales or Austria and we’ll make sure we are well prepared for that if we manage to get through the first game.”
With the final being played away from home, Clarke’s side know they face a tough task to reach the World Cup in 2022 – but it could have been much worse.
After finishing ahead of Austria in qualifying, there’s little reason for Clarke’s side to fear them, should they reach the final, while Wales aren’t any better than Scotland are.
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