Steve Clarke confessed watching the lucky few gear up for another World Cup without Scotland feels like a gut punch.

All eyes are set to descend on the controversial Qatar tournament in eight days' time but, as it has been since 1998, the Tartan Army will remain at home.

A play-off defeat to Ukraine in June inflicted a familiar pain on Scotland and it's one that’s left Clarke with no desire to travel to the Middle East with only a watching berth.

But he's adamant his players, who ended a 20-year major tournament absence in qualifying for Euro 2020, can harness the hurt and propel themselves to Euro 2024.

The manager said: “This is when it hits you a little bit, when they’re all starting to name squads.

“When you’re not involved, it’s disappointing.

"But we have to use that to drive us forward and make sure we qualify for the next tournament - and one after that.

“I won’t go to Qatar. I’d rather go together with a big squad of players and my staff."

Instead of Qatar, Scotland will travel to Turkey this week for a friendly Clarke expects to be anything but.

It's the last time his squad will come together before Euro 2024 qualifying begins in March and he's determined to register a fifth game unbeaten at a hostile Diyarbakir Stadium.

“Turkey is rebuilding and they’re a dangerous team," Clarke said. "We’re ranked pretty similarly.

“We’re expecting a tough game and it should be a good atmosphere because it’s always pretty lively out there.

“It’ll be a good experience for the players to play in a hostile environment even though it’s a friendly.

“Hopefully we’ll put on a good performance. We’re four games unbeaten and we want to take that into March.

“I didn’t play in Turkey but I went out there a couple of times as a coach. It was lively and really noisy.

“It’s something to look forward to."