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Fitness boost for Scotland as Kieran Tierney available to face England

By June 17, 2021No Comments

Scotland were handed a Euro 2020 boost after Kieran Tierney was declared fit and available for the game against England on Friday night.

The Arsenal defender, a key player for Steve Clarke’s side, missed the 2-0 defeat by the Czech Republic at Hampden Park in the Group D opener with a niggle.

At the pre-match zoom media conference ahead of the trip to Wembley, boss Clarke confirmed Tierney had fully recovered.

He said: “It is good news for Kieran, good news for us and good news for the Scottish supporters.

“He has trained fully the last two days. He is available for the whole game. Hopefully we can back all that up with a good result.”

Clarke insists the target remains the same following the deflating defeat against the Czechs in what was Scotland’s first game in a major finals in 23 years.

The Scots will take on Croatia at Hampden Park in their final group game next week and it is widely believed four points will be enough to qualify out of the section.

The former Scotland defender said: “The objective when we started the tournament was to get enough points to get out of the group stage and into the knockout stage for the first time in our history as the men’s A team, and we still have that in front of us.

“So we look to get something out of the game against England and obviously we have to get something out of the game against Croatia as well. So we look forward to the next two games.”

Clarke has no issues with the levels of belief in his players for what is a crucial game nor with the possibility of them getting over-excited against the Auld Enemy.

He said: “The players have to believe in themselves, that’s the first criteria.

“They are all good players, they are all playing at a really good level. A lot of them are team-mates with some of the lads in the England squad as well so they are used to seeing them on the pitch and used to playing in big games.

Fitness boost for Scotland as Kieran Tierney available to face England PLZ Soccer
Scotland were beaten by the Czech Republic in their opening fixture (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“I wouldn’t think they wouldn’t have the self-belief to go there and get a good result. We have good professionals in the squad, they are used to playing in big matches.

“Big players want to play in big games and they don’t come much bigger than this one.

“We will go out here and try to get on the front foot as early as possible, try to get hold of the ball.

“The players will try and make themselves feel comfortable on the pitch, and if we can get off to a quick start it will be good for us.”

Fitness boost for Scotland as Kieran Tierney available to face England PLZ Soccer
Steve Clarke has an in-depth knowledge of English football from his time with Chelsea (Tim Goode/PA)

Clarke has spent most of his life living and working in England since he joined Chelsea from St Mirren in 1987 and he remains a passionate Scot who is desperate for a win in a game of “historical significance”.

He said: “I am proud to be the head coach of Scotland, I am proud to lead this group of players and hopefully they can make us all smile at the end of the game.

“I have spent a long part of my life in England, never mind my football playing and coaching career. I have good memories down here, lots of good friends, but on the night I want Scotland to win desperately.”

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