Souness slams Clarke for Scotland ‘tactics from the past’

Graeme Souness has hit out at Steve Clarke’s “tactics from the past” as Scotland were knocked out of Euro 2020 on Tuesday.

The 3-1 defeat to Croatia at Hampden Park left Scotland rock bottom of Group D and saw them eliminated from their first major tournament since 1998.

Callum McGregor equalised for Scotland before half-time after Nikola Vlasic’s opener, but a stunning finish from Luka Modric – who was superb throughout – and a fine near post header from Ivan Perisic condemned Clarke’s side to defeat on Tuesday.

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And Souness, having been very impressed by Scotland’s display against England on Friday, was critical of the Clarke’s tactics against Croatia, claiming the way they played made them look like a “team from the past”.

Souness told ITV: “I’d like to have changed things in the second half.

“The plan in the first half clearly wasn’t working – they [Croatia] had 68% possession.

“I’d have taken a striker off and tried to get a bit more possession in midfield and build from there.

“We went too long at times, we tried to hit Lyndon Dykes too often. It was tactics from the past, it made us look like a team from the past.

“I get it. The manager has a group of players and it’s up to him to come up with a way of playing that gets the best out of those players, but I’d like the manager to have changed things in the second half.

“He put [Nathan] Patterson on with seven or eight minutes to go but that’s not going to affect the game.

“We had problems down the right hand side with [Stephen] O’Donnell all night. He could have done better for the first goal and the third goal.

“So I’m disappointed, but it’s not totally unexpected, because this Croatia team are a really good side when they get on the front foot.”

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Clarke admitted after the game that there is more improvement to come from Scotland.

“We have to get better in every department.

“But we have improved a lot over the two years I have been head coach, that’s my belief.

“Other people might disagree but I think we have improved a lot and what we have to do is we have to keep improving.

“We have to keep getting better and better and make sure we don’t have to wait so long before we qualify for the next tournament.”


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