Scotland: Willie Miller says Steve Clarke's side in 'really serious situation'

Scotland captain Andrew Robertson and head coach Steve Clarke
Steve Clarke (right) has suffered four consecutive defeats

Scotland find themselves in a "really serious situation" and there are few signs they can get out of it, says former international Willie Miller.

Steve Clarke's side slumped to a 4-0 defeat away to Russia on Thursday and sit second bottom in Group I without a hope of finishing in the top two.

However, they can still qualify for Euro 2020 via March's play-offs.

"The worrying part is the 'fragile confidence' the manager speaks about," Miller told BBC Scotland's Sportsound.

Head coach Clarke said "losing heart very quickly" was behind the concession of four goal in 27 second-half minutes in Moscow after the visitors contained the Russians for almost an hour.

"If you have players that at least can't show you a bit of courage and spirit when things are going against you, you have issues," 65-time capped centre-back Miller said.

"Are you going to sort that out on the training field? It's not going to be easy for Steve Clarke. It's a really serious situation we find ourselves in."

Scotland are into Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals after topping their Nations League group and look likely to face either Bulgaria, Hungary or Israel in a one-off game at Hampden.

If they win that one, a final against Norway or Serbia is in prospect, but Miller is concerned that Scotland's results have not improved since Clarke took over from the sacked Alex McLeish.

"There's a lot of pressure on him with the results he is getting," he said. "At the same time, there is still that golden ticket to be won next March and he has to convince the players and the fans that it's still a possibility. I think we've all got our doubts."

Former Scotland striker Billy Dodds agrees that Clarke's side "need to get the Tartan Army back on side" but doubts that even a win over San Marino will do much to boost confidence.

"I don't know the length of time it is going to take to get better," he said. "Worst-case scenario, we need to take seven points out of the next nine.

"We should be getting nine in all honesty, but we've got to beat Kazakhstan and at least get a draw away to Cyprus to get some sort of momentum."

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