Steve Clarke must decide whether Scotland stick or twist against Ireland

Victory over Ukraine has put Scotland in command of their Nations League group but a pragmatic approach is still requiredScotland’s manager works in an unforgiving domain. Steve Clarke led his country to a first major finals in more than two decades yet received fierce criticism on account of his team’s performances against the Czech Republic and Croatia. As Ukraine eased past Scotland in June, in a match when the backdrop was both curious and weighted against them, the manager was again castigated. Some have never liked Clarke, for reasons related to petty club tribalism, but there is no question others find it simple to portray him as the kind of old-school coach Scotland can well do without. The depiction is entirely unfair, but it lingers.

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