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Scotland Boss is cautiously optimistic ahead of WC qualification draw

Tue 08 December 2020 | 7:20

Scotland will face Austria, Denmark, Israel, Faroe Islands and Moldova in Group F of the 2022 World Cup qualification.

Although Scots avoided major European nations in the qualifying group,

Clarke

warned that

Denmark

and

Austria

, who are ranked above the Scots in Group F, must not be taken lightly.

“I think it could have been a tougher draw but it’s also a dangerous draw,”

Clarke said.

“The Danes and Austrians have got a really good record recently and also they are in pot one and pot two for a reason: it means they have been consistently better than us over the past few years. So we have to be careful of them.

“The Israelis we know everything about. We know they are a dangerous team as well, we actually lost to them the last game we played.

“So without being disrespectful to the two minnows in the group, we have to be happy with the draw but very, very wary that it will be a dangerous draw as well.”

Scotland was lucky to avoid other top seed teams, who were

Belgium

,

France

,

England

,

Portugal

,

Spain

,

Italy

,

Germany

,

Netherland

and 2018 runners-up

Croatia

,

“I suppose it is but that would also be a bit disrespectful towards Denmark, because they are also a big-hitter, with a lot of good players, and a really good record of qualifying for major tournaments in recent years, and a strong team.

“So I don’t think we can get too far ahead of ourselves. In my opinion we are still a work in progress, we have still got a lot of work to do to become a better national team.

“I keep saying to the players, we have to stay humble and keep working hard. If we do that, we might get our rewards.”

It’s the fourth time that Scotland is paired with

Israel

, they have finished above them in two Nations League groups and knocked them out of the Euro 2020 play-offs, but

Israel

has won two of their last five matches, and one of Scotland’s victories came from a penalty-shootout.

“When you’ve got so many teams coming out the pots you’re hoping something different will come out,”

Clarke said.

“Listen, both teams know each other inside out, we have played each other a lot.

“We will look forward to playing the Israelis again. Always good games, always good technical games, and it’s a chance to pit our wits against each other again.

“Hopefully this time we can find a better solution than we did the last time.”

Faroe Islands

and

Moldova

aren’t happy memories for the Scots, neither. A 1-1 draw in

Moldova

cost

Berti Vogts

his job in 2004, and Scotland have twice drawn with the Faroes.

“When you look historically at Scotland’s qualifying campaigns, it’s normally one of the so-called smaller nations that trip us up,”

Clarke said.

“So I don’t think we will be found wanting on that one.

“I remember one time I was sitting watching the Faroe Islands 2-0 up against Scotland and you’re thinking ‘this can’t happen’.

“But it’s football and it can happen, so we have to be on our guard and treat everybody with the same respect.”


source: SportMob

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