Steve Clarke hopes Scotland can take inspiration from opponents Russia

Scotland manager Steve Clarke hopes the national team can follow the example of tonight’s opponents Russia.

The 2018 World Cup hosts were written off inside and outside their own country before storming to the quarter-finals.

Russia captain Artem Dzyuba recalled on Wednesday how they had turned round perceptions with results and an appreciation of their supporters.

And he was surprised the Scottish media did not have more faith in their national team.

With four defeats in six qualifiers, Scotland have next to no chance of a top two spot in Group I but still have the play-offs in March to attempt to secure Hampden appearances at Euro 2020.

And Clarke aims to emulate Russia’s achievements in restoring the feelgood factor to the country’s football fans.

Clarke said in the Luzhniki Stadium: “Just as I was sitting in the changing rooms I saw the comments from Dzyuba and they were very good I thought, the way he spoke about the supporters getting behind the Russian national team and being very supportive.

“There was a time when there was a disconnect between the Russian fans and the Russian team and now they have that togetherness.

“Hopefully we can build that with the Scottish fans and hopefully find ourselves taking part in a tournament that some part of it is going to be in Scotland.”

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