SCOTLAND assistant John Carver has backed Rangers duo Ryan Jack and John Souttar to put the disappointment of a painful Old Firm defeat to Celtic firmly behind them and be ready to face Cyprus on Friday night.

Midfielder Jack and centre-half Souttar were helpless to prevent Michael Beale’s side from losing the first Glasgow derby of the season 1-0 to Brendan Rodgers’ team at Ibrox on Sunday.

There was a furious reaction from the home supporters to a cinch Premiership loss which left the Govan outfit in fourth place in the top flight table four points behind their city rivals.

However, Carver, who attended the league encounter, has no concerns about the reverse affecting the pair ahead of the important Euro 2024 qualifier in Larnaca on Friday night.

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“It doesn’t matter when they come here,” he said. “It’s amazing how they react. Once they walk through the door, all the troubles are put behind them.

“Sometimes it’s like a breath of fresh air for them. They’ve had a disappointing result and are coming into this environment with what we’ve got to move forward with. That’s why they love coming here.

“It’s the same with the lads who maybe thought they’d get moves but didn’t. They don’t even talk about it. They come in and are really focused on what we are trying to do.”

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Carver added: “I was there, and it is tough. But you have to put that disappointment behind you.

“I look at Jacko, and he is such a good professional. Yes, he’ll be hurting and is disappointed, but he realises he has another job to do.

“When he walks through the door of the national team, he has to re-focus and be right on it. He has to be that way to get in the team and take us to the Euros.”

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Carver confirmed that he and Scotland manager Steve Clarke regularly speak to players who they sense may need to have their spirits lifted.

“Steve is good at putting his arm around players when the time is right,” he said. “People don’t see that side of it. I do it as well, more than Steve, because I am the link. 

“The manager sometimes has to make the tough decisions. I don’t have to do that. I can help him make them, but in general it is me who will have a quiet chat and if there is some issue I know about.”

Meanwhile, Carver has expressed his happiness that Scotland centre-half Kieran Tierney, who completed a season-long loan move from Arsenal to Real Sociedad in Spain last month, played for nearly 70 minutes in a La Liga match against Granada on Saturday and helped his new club  to record a 5-3 win.

“It’s important that he’s playing and he has settled in quite well,” he said. “He’s already throwing a few Spanish words in! You can see in people’s eyes when they are happy. He has gone out there with the chance to play in a really good standard of football and it’s important that he’s playing because he’s a top player.”

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