Scotland manager Steve Clarke has reflected on the early criticism he got for deploying Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay in defence and his 3-5-2 decision.

The Scotland boss has taken the country to Euro 2020 using the system. But 3-5-2 was certainly criticised in its early matches during the September internationals, Manchester United man McTominay caught out in his new role against Israel during a 1-1 draw. But he grew into the position and has become a key Scots centre-back.

The Manchester United man was a rock at the back for Clarke as Scotland secured major tournament qualification for the first time since 1998 last November

The Manchester United man was a rock at the back for Clarke as Scotland secured major tournament qualification for the first time since 1998 last November. (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

McTominay managed to battle through the early skepticism as Clarke knew the Manchester United man and his teammates could make it work: “I was hammered for playing three at the back and it was a big call. He got caught under a cross against Israel at Hampden which they should have scored from.

“But it happens and I have seen top class central defenders caught under a cross and then he was exposed away in the Czech Republic when we gave the ball away in midfield. He was done on a one-two and he was blamed for that, but I could see what I was looking for from him.

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