AMID all of the upheaval at Hampden on Tuesday night, one thing was almost overlooked.

Scotland gave Georgia - who Steve Clarke had, with some justification, described as the best Pot Four team in Euro 2024 qualifying at his pre-match press conference - an absolute doing.

The visitors went into the Group A match in Glasgow on the back of a 10 game unbeaten run and an impressive away win over Cyprus in away in Larnaca on Saturday night.

Willy Sagnol, the former France internationalist and Bayern Munich defender, fielded Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the Napoli winger who was named Champions League Young Player of the Year and Serie A Player of the Year last month, out wide.

But Andy Robertson and his team mates battered their opponents with greater ferocity than the torrential downpour had pummelled the pitch around an hour before kick-off.

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The final scoreline was 2-0 at the end of the, er, 90 minutes thanks to the early Callum McGregor goal and second-half Scott McTominay strike. But the margin of victory could and really should have been far greater.

The national team bossed possession and created numerous opportunities in the final third. If the underfoot conditions had been a little more favourable and the disruptions fewer, they would perhaps have converted more of them than they did. It was an impressive and encouraging all-round display.

David the Builder, Joseph Stalin, Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgi Kinkladze, Shota Arveladze, Katie Melua, Giga “The Ninja” Chikadze, your boys took a hell of a beating.

Is it any wonder that, after a record-breaking run of victories over Cyprus, Spain, Norway and Georgia which has sent Scotland eight points clear at the top of their section at the halfway stage, Tartan Army footsoldiers are trying to figure out exactly when their heroes can secure their place in the finals in Germany next summer?

The Herald:

The return to form of Billy Gilmour, who made his first start in a competitive international in over a year in midweek, certainly augurs well for the future. 

The diminutive Brighton midfielder was, despite his age and lack of experience at international level, hugely influential during the six game winning run that the country went on in Qatar 2022 qualifying last season. A lack of involvement at club level saw him drop out of the picture this term. But he was back with a bang on Tuesday night. He was a deserved recipient of the Man of the Match award.

Deploying Gilmour in a deep-lying role just in front of the defence and allowing McGregor and McTominay to roam further forward was a masterstroke by Clarke; the Manchester United man in particular caused Georgia all kinds of problems with his powerful runs upfield and physicality.

It is very hard, nigh on impossible in fact, at the moment to see Clarke’s men suffering the same fate as so many of their predecessors, slipping up in their remaining outings and missing out on another major tournament.

They picked up maximum points from their latest double header despite Che Adams, Grant Hanley and Scott McKenna all being absent. Lewis Ferguson, Lawrence Shankland and Greg Taylor did not get a minute of game time. Nathan Patterson, meanwhile, was omitted from both match day squads. 

They will, then, be able to cope with any suspensions or injuries which may arise. The strength in depth is there in abundance. That has not always been the case in years gone by.

Fans should, however, keep their shape. There is a long way to go and an awful lot of football still to be played before a top two place is cemented. Clarke is not looking any further ahead than the meeting with Cyprus in Nicosia in September and neither should supporters.

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It took until the 87th minute for Scotland to kill off Temuri Ketsbaia’s side at home in March. Their adversaries will be far more formidable on their own turf. Spain, who beat Croatia to win the Nations League last Sunday, will be hellbent on revenge in Seville in October. As will Norway when they rock up in Mount Florida in November.

Before that final game there is the not so small matter of a trip to Georgia. The national team’s hopes of reaching both Euro 2008 and Euro 2016 suffered savage blows with defeats in Tbilisi in 2007 and 2015. They have never beaten their eastern European rivals away.

This is a pretty exceptional group of professional footballers who ply their trade at the very top in their homeland, down south and overseas. They have the ability, desire, mentality and togetherness required to avoid the sort of collapses that so many of those who have donned dark blue jerseys in the past few decades have suffered.

But difficult challenges, Cyprus away, Spain away, Georgia away, lie ahead. They shackled Erling Haaland pretty effectively in Oslo last weekend, exhibited an admirable never-say-die attitude and got an incredible result against Norway. Still, their overall showing left much to be desired. They also, truth be told, got a little lucky.

If there is any repeat of that performance in their next three competitive fixtures they might not be so fortunate and Euro 2024 qualification suddenly might not seem the inevitability it does just now.