Boasting a 100% report in its Euro 2024 qualifying group and on the cusp of reserving a spot in subsequent yr’s event in Germany, these are heady occasions for Scotland.
Manager Steve Clarke, nevertheless, says the benchmark of how far Scotland has progressed can be found on Tuesday when it hosts England in a pleasant at Hampden Park.
Friendly is hardly an acceptable description for a match that may mark the a hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the primary version of the world’s oldest worldwide fixture.
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Bragging rights matter, particularly for followers north of the border who can be determined to have fun a primary house win in opposition to England since 1985.
It might be a double celebration too for Scotland if Norway and Georgia attract Euro 2024 qualifying Group A — a end result that will guarantee group chief Scotland finishes within the prime two.
“It’s been 150 years in the making — always good games,” Clarke, whose facet earned a 0-0 attract its final conflict with England on the delayed Euro 2020 event at Wembley three years in the past, advised a press convention.
“In the modern era, certainly in my lifetime, England have probably moved a bit further in front. We are trying to close the gap on them and we’ll find out tomorrow how much we’ve closed that gap.
“We did well in Cyprus and now we see what we can do against a team that’s nominally a Pot One team, always in the later stages of tournaments. That’s the benchmark we want to judge ourselves against and we will find out tomorrow.”
Scotland gained 3-0 in Cyprus for a fifth successive victory and will Norway and Georgia draw it might imply solely Spain can catch it within the group. Clarke insists his solely ideas on Tuesday can be on beating Gareth Southgate’s England.
“The crowd might keep me informed but I’ll be focused on our match,” Clarke stated. “In my head (qualification) is not imminent, it’s still a long way away and we’ve got to get it over the line.
“I’ve been in situations before as a coach or manager where you are trying to achieve a target with a club and sometimes the last steps are the longest ones so we will just focus on the game tomorrow night and what happens elsewhere happens.”
The first fixture between England and Scotland was performed in 1872 — a 0-0 draw — and the 2 nations have since confronted one another on greater than 100 events with 48 wins for England and 41 for Scotland.
“I think the English hold this game quite close as well — they like to beat us. Don’t make any mistake about that, don’t think it’s more important to Scotland than it is to England,” Clarke stated.