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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Scotland confirm Steve Clarke as new national team boss

The now-former Kilmarnock boss replaces Alex McLeish, who was sacked after a humiliating defeat to Kazakhstan.

Steve Clarke.
Steve Clarke.
Image: Ian Rutherford

THE SCOTTISH FOOTBALL Association has today confirmed Steve Clarke as the new manager of the Scottish national team. He leaves Kilmarnock to replace Alex McLeish, and has signed a three-year contract.

McLeish was sacked last month after a humiliating Euro 2020 qualifier defeat to Kazakhstan.

Although McLeish guided Scotland to a promotion to the top of the Uefa Nations League group – guaranteeing a Euro 2020 play-off in the process – the 3-0 loss to Kazakhstan is regarded as one of the worst of Scotland’s history and his position became untenable. 

His successor was recently voted the SPFA manager of the year having led Kilmarnock to third in the Scottish Premiership.

He took over his boyhood club in October 2017, finding them bottom of the league. He bid farewell to supporters yesterday, saying that “I’m sorry I didn’t win you a trophy but I stand here in front of three stands of Kilmarnock supporters – that is my trophy.”

It was Clarke’s third job as a manger, following stints with Reading and West Brom. Prior to that he worked as an assistant to a number of high-profile coaches, including Ruud Guillt at Newcastle, Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool. 

He will now take charge of a national team for whom he won six caps as a player. 

“It is an honour,” said Clarke upon his appointment. 

I firmly believe we have a talented group of players who can achieve success on the international stage. I look forward to working with them and helping them to fulfil those ambitions.

“I appreciate the Scotland supporters have waited a long time for the national team to qualify for a major tournament. Now we have a Women’s World Cup to look forward to in France this summer and it’s my motivation to emulate the success of Shelley Kerr and her squad by leading us to Euro 2020.” 

Scotland are fifth in their qualifying group, although with three points are level with Kazakhstan, Russia and Cyprus; all of whom are three points behind table-topping Belgium. 

His first game in charge will be at home to Cyprus on 8 June. 

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