Cyprus v Scotland: Steve Clarke says side need to win as well as improve

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland in Nicosia
Clarke 'as frustrated as fans' with Scotland results
Euro 2020 qualifying: Cyprus v Scotland
Venue: GSP Stadium, Nicosia Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen to BBC Radio Scotland and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Watch highlights on Sportscene at 22:50 GMT.

Steve Clarke believes the Scotland national team have improved under his watch - but acknowledges that will not matter unless they start winning games.

Scotland face Cyprus on Saturday and then Kazakhstan three days later to conclude their Euro 2020 qualification group campaign.

The former Kilmarnock manager has only won two of his first six games, but is adamant that progress has been made.

"I think you're always judged," said Clarke.

"That's the job of the head coach of the national team: to be judged. I didn't see any favourable comments when we were losing the games against Belgium and Russia.

"I think within the group, things are getting better but until we start winning matches on the pitch no one is going to see that."

Scotland can no longer qualify from Group I but Clarke could still lead the nation to Euro 2020 if he can win two play-off games in March.

And despite the start to his tenure being dogged by a poor run of form in the qualifying campaign, Clarke believes he can build momentum and still reach his goals.

"We spoke after the San Marino game about trying to build on that little bit of positivity," said the Scotland head coach. "So coming in to these games is about trying to continue that.

"Cyprus are a difficult team to play here and Kazakhstan at home will be a difficult opponent. But they are two games that we feel we have to perform well in and try to take momentum in to March.

"We have a definite target within the group to finish in third position. And we have a definite target in March when we have the qualifying games that second opportunity to get to Euro 2020."

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