ROBERTO Martinez last night claimed that Steve Clarke is performing miracles as Scotland manager despite seeing his Belgium side thrash his opposite number's team 4-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifier at Hampden.

Clarke, who succeeded Alex McLeish as boss of his country back in June and was only taking charge of his fourth match, insisted he saw some encouraging signs during the one-sided Group I match.

And Martinez, the former Motherwell player whose wife hails from this country, agreed with his counterpart afterwards, predicted that better times lie ahead for this country in future and urged supporters to keep faith with the man in charge.

“I know it’s frustrating – I’m half Scottish and I know how passionate we are,” he said. “International football is about having a long-term plan and this group of players have got the talent and desire to play for Scotland.

“Steve Clarke is working miracles with a group of players that he’s only seeing three or four days. It is very clear to see there are positive signs. Six players are now starting games in the Premier League, three in the top six. It is very difficult to get players in top-six teams. This is a long-term plan for Scottish football if everyone is patient.”

Martinez was delighted with how Belgium, who were missing Eden and Thorgan Hazard as well as Vincent Kompany and Axel Witsel, performed as they racked up their sixth consecutive win in their section to maintain their three point lead over Russia.

“It wasn’t just the quality of play – we know the quality we have,” he said. “Today we had to be very good in many aspects.

“We had to work very hard off the ball – Scotland are growing into becoming a technical team. We had to be clinical and the first goal shows you that.

"From then on, it was very easy to switch off. But the back three and Thibaut (Courtois) and the whole team, it was very pleasing to get a clean sheet.

“We almost gave the two midfielders a very difficult job. We knew Scotland would have an extra body there.

“But it gave space to Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku. Every camp we’re gaining a player in a certain position. Scotland can be a technical team but a physical team as well. Leander’s (Dendoncker) physicality helped us a lot with that.”