Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong has admitted that Steve Clarke’s side weren’t clinical enough as they slipped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat in their opening Euro 2020 game against the Czech Republic at Hampden this afternoon – and called on his teammates to produce a big performance of Friday when they travel to Wembley to face England.
The Southampton star was left disappointed as Patrik Schick’s double left Scotland needing at least four points from their next two games and Armstrong was unhappy with the goals conceded to the Czechs.
After a 23-year wait to appear at a major finals, the result is a massive disappointment but Armstrong thinks there were positives to take away ahead of the England and Croatia fixtures.
“It was a difficult one,” Armstrong said. “The game was very compact, especially in the first half, there wasn’t much space. We were playing too many long balls for our liking. When we passed it we did quite well, but it was hard to break them down.
“Disappointed with the way the first goal went in following a set-piece. Apart from that, we defended pretty well for the most part. They’ve shown real quality for the second goal as we pushed a little bit more to try and get that equaliser. That’s not to say we didn’t have chances in the second half when we tried to push. We missed a little bit of luck and they were clinical.”
“We need to take from the experience and need to learn from what happened today and make a few tweaks to our game. Fundamentally, there were some positive moments and we just need to carry that through to Friday. Clean slate, and it’s a big one.
“We’re trying to focus game by game but now the first one is out of the way we can look forward to what is a very big occasion. The whole country will be behind us and we need to produce a performance to match.”
Armstrong played just over an hour of the defeat, and it will be interesting to see if Clarke makes a number of changes for the England clash.
While the absence of Kieran Tierney was sorely missed, there should be enough in the Scotland squad that the Arsenal defender missing out should affect the performance as much as it did.
However, with game one out of the way and the next one just days away, there’s no time to linger over it if Scotland want to have any hope of progressing.
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