STEVE CLARKE confessed that like the majority of Scots, he rather lost his head for a moment when Scott McTominay bundled the ball home at the last at Hampden on Saturday night.

It didn’t take him long to regain his famed composure, but just in case he was in danger of getting carried away, his friends and family soon brought him back down to earth with a bump in any case.

Among a host of congratulatory messages, his phone was also swamped with critical commentary on everything from his uncharacteristic sprint down the touchline to his complexion.

On reflection, he can enjoy a wry smile about the moment he briefly regressed into a supporter once more, and surmise that it simply showed just how committed he is to the cause. But that should be as plain as the (blemished) nose on his face.

“We are all in,” Clarke said. “I have to mention the run down the touchline.

“It was a fantastic second-half performance from the lads and the stadium was rocking, yet the majority of texts from my family and close friends were all about that run down the touchline and the big spot I still have on my nose!

“It keeps you level headed and grounded.”

Those are exactly the qualities Clarke wants to see from his team as they take on the Faroe Islands this evening. They have travelled to Torshavn on a high after their last action heroics on Saturday evening, but the Scotland head coach is wary of confidence spilling over into complacency.

“Every game is different, you know that,” he said. “Every game starts different. Every game goes in different ways.

“Obviously if we could maintain that level of performance, it would be great, but we have to be mindful that they are different opposition, a different type of team to Israel.

“For us, it’s just about focusing on the game and trying to get another three points. Saturday night was great for everybody, we’ve all enjoyed it, but we just have to focus on the next three points. That’s the most important thing.

“The Faroes have their own way of playing. They have good physicality. The goalkeeper has a very long kick. I’m not saying they always play direct but they have the option to be long and direct and be straight at your back four or back five.

“So, there are different problems to the ones that Israel gave us the other night. That’s something we have touched on in training and we will touch on again in the meetings. And make sure that we are ready for a tough game.

“Everyone looks at the Hampden game, and 4-0 looks like a really comfortable night but it was 1-0 for a long time. It wasn’t a comfortable night. Once we got to 2-0, we managed to go on and get the third and the fourth but that really just put a little gloss on the scoreline. It was a tighter game than 4-0.”

For all his predictable caution though, there is no disguising the fact that anything other than a relatively straightforward win would not only represent a major shock, but a colossal disappointment for Clarke and his men.

Scotland have of course come unstuck in the Faroe Islands before, but the advantage that Clarke’s squad enjoy is that the scars of two draws back in 1999 and 2002 are not theirs to bear.

Perhaps only Craig Gordon of the likely starting XI can conceivably even clearly remember the matches, while Billy Gilmour wasn’t born when Craig Brown’s side were held 1-1 towards the end of the millennium. Nathan Patterson wasn’t even born until a month after the Berti Vogts led debacle three years later.

“There’s not [a psychological scar],” Clarke said. “I look at this group and leading into the Nations league playoffs, we went eight games unbeaten. So that tells me that this group of players understand what they have to do, how they have to arrive in certain games, what state of mind they have to be in to get the next result and the next result.

“Hopefully we can show that against the Faroes.”

There are some decisions for Clarke to make when it comes to selection, with Grant Hanley available at the back once more after suspension and striker Che Adams ruled out with the muscle injury that forced him off in the second half of the game against Israel.

Clarke was never likely to crack a light about his thinking prior to the game, but there may be further changes after the Herculean levels of effort expended by the players in the second half on Saturday evening.

“With the short turnaround, I always like to give as long as I can,” he said.

“Going into the Israel game after a five day camp, I already knew what the team was going to be and the lads knew.

“This time there’s some positions that I am looking at and I have to get the balance right as it was a big physical effort on Saturday night.

“I looked at the stats and some of them are amazing, especially from the second half performance.

“So, I have to get balance right between maybe making two or three changes to freshen the team without losing that real spark we had in the second half.”