IT’S been a hectic week of international football and there’s certainly a lot for Steve Clarke to mull over when he gets a quiet moment to reflect.

The plus point is that Scotland are still unbeaten at the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign which is always a positive.

I feel that five points out of a possible nine might be one or two short of what we could maybe have expected from these three opening games against Austria, Israel and the Faroes.

We would have been targeting three points in Israel and then definitely three points against the Faroes so the aim would have been to collect at least six points.

But it’s not the worst and it gives us something to build on later in the campaign.

You have to also take into account the fact that playing three international games in a week is a big ask.

There’s literally no time for preparation and it’s all about rest, recovery and go again.

Normally you’d just have a double-header and you’d have a bit more respite between the first and second matches but with three games and a long trip to Israel in the middle it becomes a real slog.


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So when assessing how Scotland have got on over the past week, I think it’s only fair to keep that in mind.

Denmark already look like they will streak ahead and win the group leaving the others to battle it out for the play-off spot.

They are the highest-ranked team in the table with a really talented group of players so that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

The Danes made light work of Austria the other night which now looks like a good result from Scotland’s perspective.

It looks like finishing first will be a tough ask but we should definitely fancy ourselves to push for second spot from this platform.

Austria will still be a tough opponent so I don’t think we can be too harsh at only taking a point from our home game with them last week.

Our game over there might prove pivotal but there is a lot of football to be played before we get to that one in September.

To end this triple-header with a win and a clean sheet is a massive boost, even if it was (no disrespect) only the Faroes at home.

And there were signs over the week that the players can cope with in-game tactical adjustments which was good to see too.

We’ve looked comfortable playing both with a back four as well as a back three which gives us another option defensively.

It was also good to see the partnership between Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes in attack. I think they need more games together, although we may not play with two up front in the Euros because we have a tough, tough group. But there were some encouraging signs there with that particular striker partnership.

Adams seems to have taken to international football really quickly. He took his goal nicely, with a brilliant set-up, and he already looks like someone who could be a proper asset come the summer.


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I also liked the way Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson linked up. You could see more of a cohesive connection between the pair.

Tierney was the outstanding player for Scotland over the three matches and so it’s vital that he’s fit for the summer as he’s become key to how Steve wants the team to play.

As the left-sided centre-back of a back three his heat map must have been on fire with the amount of running that he does!

He’s up and down the field all night long with so much energy and gives so much to the team in an attacking sense with his crosses and precise passing.

Robertson has taken a bit of a criticism which all talented players would expect playing at the top level of the game. But on Wednesday night we could see that partnership with Tierney developing which was really encouraging.

Scott McTominay was another stand-out. We know he can play in a back three but I like him better in midfield.

I understand the rationale of playing him at the back but I don’t think we’ll see that against better opposition.

Fans and the media are always kept guessing when it comes to Steve’s teams and formation so the opposition must be having to do likewise which is good.


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Even when he names the starting line-up you can’t always say for certain that it’s a back three or four and it’s good to have that versatility and variety.

I thought Craig Gordon did well on his return to the side and made a brilliant save in the first half to earn his clean sheet.

David Marshall got a bit of stick for a couple of the goals lost in the previous games but I’d be happy with any of three ‘keepers that we’ve got.

Jon McLaughlin has been reliable too in the past although he’s maybe hampered by the fact he’s not playing for Rangers.

Steve will go and review all three games now and look for areas in which we can improve ahead of the Euros.

Defensively we’ve looked solid enough with that option of variation, while there’s encouragement in attack too with Adams’ emergence.

It’s not been the perfect week but I feel there’s a lot we can build on heading into the summer.