Clarke urges 'negative Normans' to enjoy Scotland's Euros journey


Steve Clarke insisted he has no time for “negative Normans” as he urged everyone to get behind Scotland at Euro 2024.

The head coach was disappointed by some of the reaction to their 2-0 friendly win against Gibraltar which saw them have 22 shots before scoring the opening goal.

Scotland’s final warm-up match is against Finland on Friday and Clarke is ready to ignore any criticism that comes their way eight days before they open Euro 2024 against hosts Germany.

“Anytime I read a little snippet from someone who wants to be a negative Norman I just dismiss it because what’s to be negative about?” he said.

“We’re going into another major tournament, the squad is in a good place and we’re all determined to do as well as we can for our country. Why not just relax and enjoy it?

Scotland's Ryan Christie celebrates with Ross McCrorie and Billy Gilmour after scoring to make it 1-0 against Gibraltar
Image:
Scotland beat Gibraltar 2-0 in Faro

“That’s what we’re going to try and do. Obviously we’ve got to try and produce the goods on the pitch and that’s what we’ll do.

“I just don’t understand why anyone would be negative about a second European Championships in a row and really good squad of players who have shown how good they are for their country.

“Let’s get behind them and give them a real chance.”

‘Almost impossible decision’

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Steve Clarke admits it was “almost impossible” to decide who to cut from his final Euro 2024 and he’s yet to tell the two who will miss out

After injuries to both Lyndon Dykes and Ben Doak, Clarke called-up Tommy Conway and Lewis Morgan to his provisional squad.

He must cut two players before Friday’s 11pm deadline and he is ready for difficult conversations.

“I’ve reached the decision, I haven’t had the conversation,” he added.

“[It was] almost impossible, but that’s my job and I have to do it.

“It won’t be nice, it won’t be easy but we’ll deal with that between now and the deadline.”

What’s next for Scotland?

Friday June 7: Euro 2024 warm-up, Scotland vs Finland at Hampden Park, Glasgow; kick-off 7.45pm

Friday June 7: Final 26-player squad submitted to UEFA by 11pm

Saturday June 8: Final 26-player squad announced

Sunday June 9: Scotland squad fly to base camp in the Bavarian resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Scotland’s Euro 2024 schedule

Scotland have history kicking off tournaments, having been drawn to face Brazil in the opener at World Cup 1998, a game they narrowly lost 2-1 to a second-half Tom Boyd own goal.

This time around the venue is the Munich Football Arena (Allianz Arena) where Steve Clarke’s side kick off the opening match of Euro 2024 against hosts Germany on June 14.

The Scots also face games against perennial qualifiers Switzerland in Cologne on June 19, with Hungary – who reached the knockouts in 2016 – awaiting in Stuttgart on June 23.

Scotland’s potential route to the final finishing as group winners…

If Scotland finish as winners of Group A but all other results at Euro 2024 go with the world rankings, the Scots’ opponents in the knockout rounds would be…

Round of 16: Saturday June 29 – Scotland vs Denmark (Westfalenstadion, Dortmund)

Quarter-final: Friday July 5 – Spain vs Scotland (MHPArena, Stuttgart)

Semi-final: Tuesday July 9 – Scotland vs Netherlands; kick-off 8pm (Allianz Arena, Munich)

Final: Sunday July 14 – Scotland vs France; kick-off 8pm (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

Scotland’s potential route to the final finishing as group runners-up…

If Scotland finish as Group A runners-up but all other results at Euro 2024 go with the world rankings, the Scots’ opponents in the knockout rounds would be…

Round of 16: Saturday June 29 – Scotland vs Italy (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

Quarter-final: Saturday July 6 – England vs Scotland (Merkur Spiel-Arena, Düsseldorf)

Semi-final: Wednesday July 10 – France vs Scotland; kick-off 8pm (Allianz Arena, Munich)

Final: Sunday July 14 – Spain vs Scotland; kick-off 8pm (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

If Scotland finish as one of four best third-placed teams…

One of:

Sunday June 30 – Group B winners vs third-placed side from Group A/D/E/F (RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne)

Monday July 1 – Group F winners vs third-placed side from Group A/B/C (Waldstadion, Frankfurt)

Tuesday July 2: Group E winners vs third-placed side Group A/B/C/D (Allianz Arena, Munich)

Quarter-finals

If Scotland finish first in Group A and win round-of-16 game…

Friday July 5 (MHPArena, Stuttgart)

If Scotland finish second in Group A and win round-of-16 game…

Saturday July 6 (Merkur Spiel-Arena, Dusseldorf)

If Scotland finish as one of four best third-placed teams and win round-of-16 game…

One of:

Friday July 5 (MHPArena, Stuttgart)

Friday July 5 (Volksparkstadion, Hamburg)

Saturday July 6 – (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

Semi-finals

If Scotland finish first in Group A, win round-of-16 game and win quarter-final…

Tuesday July 9 – kick-off 8pm (Allianz Arena, Munich)

If England finish second in Group A, win round-of-16 game and win quarter-final…

Wednesday July 10 – kick-off 8pm (Westfalenstadion, Dortmund)

If Scotland finish as one of four best third-placed teams, win round-of-16 game and win quarter-final…

One of:

Tuesday July 9 – kick-off 8pm (Allianz Arena, Munich)

Wednesday July 10 – kick-off 8pm (Westfalenstadion, Dortmund)

And finally, the final…

Sunday July 14 – kick-off 8pm (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

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