STEVE Clarke re-stated his commitment to seeing the Scotland job through last night - after being linked with the vacancy at Stoke City prior to the appointment of Michael O’Neill.

Clarke’s Northern Irish counterpart landed the position at the Potteries this week, a job he will combine with his international duties until such time as Northern Ireland’s interest in Euro 2020 comes to an end. While the 56-year-old from Saltcoats said it was flattering that he was also apparently considered for the role, he insisted he was 100% committed to getting Scotland to Euro 2020. Clarke’s current contract lasts through to the end of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

“How did I react?” said Clarke. “I read the paper then I got on with my job here! If you get linked with a job then it means you are either doing something right or you’ve done something right before. So it’s always good to get linked but this is my job and I am 100 percent committed to getting Scotland to Euro 2020.

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“You can never categorically say anything as you never know what could happen in life - Real Madrid might tempt me! But do I feel this is the start of something here? Absolutely. We’re trying to get to the Euros and that is my main objective in the first part of my Scotland career. IF I get that long, sometimes it’s taken out of your hands!”

Clarke, whose squad for the double header against Cyprus today and Kazakhstan on Tuesday has been decimated by call-offs, admits that he is still adjusting to life as an international manager.

“It’s a different job,” said the former Kilmarnock manager. “It’s going to take a little bit of time before I get used to being an international manager.

“There’s still a lot of me that wants to be out working on the training pitch every day. That’s what I do best. But I’ll get better.

“Different can be perceived as difficult but it’s just different. I’ll find a way to make it work.”