DAILY RECORD 🔵 Clarke warns Scotland stars ‘forget the circus’ to avoid being Euro sideshow act – Shango Media

DAILY RECORD 🔵 Clarke warns Scotland stars ‘forget the circus’ to avoid being Euro sideshow act

Steve last night insisted Scotland won’t become a sideshow at Germany’s big circus in Munich on Friday.

The national boss is fine-tuning his final preparations for the Group A opener against the home nation on the night when Euro 2024 will officially get up and running at a packed-out Allianz Arena. That includes working out how to get his players properly ready for the big kick-off behind the scenes when a glitzy opening ceremony is taking place out on the pitch – including a tribute to the great Franz Beckenbauer who passed away earlier this year.

And Clarke has already warned his players they cannot allow themselves to be distracted from the aim of getting the campaign off to a flying start. He said: “Individually they have to understand that we’re not there for the occasion. We’re there for the game and the vast majority will understand that. The pre-match routine will be different because there’s a show going on on the pitch. It’s going to be completely different and we’ll have a chat about that. We’ll tell the players to expect something different, to adapt and be ready. Forget the circus that’s going on round about us and enjoy the game.”

Germany side, but hopefully they’re facing a very, very good Scotland side.” Clarke believes his squad is in much better shape to handle the test ahead than it was last time round, three years ago – having challenged them to go one step further and reach the knock-out stages.

He said: “From now, it’s about being ready for the games. All those dynamics have been put in place over the last four or five years.

“Something I earmarked pretty early on, going into the last tournament, was that they had about 400 caps between them. This time we’re going in with about 800. They’re a bit more experienced.

“We’ve got a good, experienced squad who have a better idea this time of what’s required. Four points is the target to get qualification but we’d like a little bit more than that if we can.”

And the boss insists the players owe it to the Tartan Army to make history this summer after disappointing the fans three years ago. He said: “I’m aware it’s the first time in a long time Scotland’s been involved in a major international tournament, when everyone can travel and it feels like a bit of a holiday.

“We’re here to send everyone home with a smile on their face in three, hopefully four, weeks’ time. To do that, we need to focus. For the ones who have come over, hopefully the team gives you something to shout about – in a good way not in a bad way!

“Hopefully we give them a chance to enjoy the games and be part of a Scotland side that makes history. I’m looking forward to it. Why wouldn’t you?”

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