Clarke Gets Perfect Reward After New Contract Announcement

Clarke Gets Perfect Reward After New Contract Announcement

With domestic European football paused again to allow the current spate of international games to take place, there were developments in the Scotland camp ahead of their Euro 2024 Qualifying Group A clash with Cyprus on Saturday afternoon.

After some speculation about what the future might hold for current manager Steve Clarke, late on Friday it was confirmed that the 59 year old had now agreed to a new extended contract that sees him remain as head coach until at least 2026 and as the news was confirmed, he stated that his time in the role had already made him a better 'person to person' manager and that was what he was looking to build on in the years ahead. He might not be the only one with future prosperity if anyone chances their odds on the likes of

Having taken over the international role from former Glasgow Rangers and Aston Villa boss, Alex McLeish, back in 2019, Clarke had reasonably good success leading the Scots to the 2020 European Championship finals, and he is definitely hopeful of building on that as they have now begun their 2024 European Championship charge.

Speaking ahead of the game, the former Aston Villa boss himself, said of his new contract renewal.

"I've settled better into the job and that's all credit to the players. Because they have allowed me to feel comfortable in the job and managed to get the results that have kept us moving forward."

Scotland did recently face disappointment as they were on the losing side of the World Cup play off clash with Ukraine, but Clarke is convinced that disappointment was a 'one off' and he believes that under his charge 'there seems to be continual improvement' in the teams fortunes - going as far as thanking the players for actually earning him this contract extension in the first place.

"It's credit to the players and my staff who get the results and performances on the pitch that persuade my bosses to talk me into signing another two years on to the contract."

Clarke went further in suggesting that he never even envisaged there would be a second contract after his first year in charge as it was actually such a change from his experiences in club management, by saying.

"I would have laughed at you. I couldn't quite get my head around the nuances of the job and it is a different job. You have a lot of down time to think. Sometimes I was confusing myself - I was thinking too much and giving myself issues. I've always preached the value of continuity of squad selection and, if that involves me a little bit, that's great. It keeps my wife happy. I don't know why, but she likes me about the house more than if you are in a full-time job."

Clarke's new contract got off to the perfect start as they took a 3-0 victory over Cyprus following on from an opening goal by John McGinn and then a brace from Scott McTominay. Clarke had called it a must win game, and he got exactly what he asked for but with Spain up next, he will know there will be improvements to be made even if it was their first winning start to a European Championship campaign since 2006.

There will be those praying for an upset to keep that start going.