Risk-reward borne out
STEVE CLARKE showed a different side to his Scotland side with the comfortable triumph over Ukraine.
Against Ireland the risk-reward factor in the altered style of play was clear as day.
With Scotland's midfielder asked to push right up the park and even the full-backs forced forward it can leave the defence seriously exposed with a quick turnover.
Ireland showed on a handful of occasions that teams can find joy against Scotland with rapid counter-attacks and could have damaged the Hampden spirits if they were more clinical.
That said, Scott McKenna and Jack Hendry were terrific and managed any worrying situations superbly.
SCOTLAND started the international break without skipper Andy Robertson.
Such is the depth in the full-back position, however, that it had little impact against Ukraine.
Now though, there are serious question marks with Nathan Patterson, Kieran Tierney and Aaron Hickey all forced off in the last two matches.
Tierney's withdrawal through a head knock raises fears he could miss the match with Ukraine next week.
It'd be a serious test should all four remain sidelined and play no part in the closing Nations League group match.
Anthony Ralston and Greg Taylor stepped up at Hampden and could be turned to for the all-important finale against Ukraine.
Huge opportunity in Krakow
JUST one more game stands between Scotland and winning their Nations League group.
With a win over Ireland, Scotland only need a point against Ukraine in Poland to emerge as group victors.
The prize on offer is firstly promotion to the A Leagues against the top European nations for the next edition of the tournament.
But perhaps more importantly is the assurance of entry to the play-offs for Euro 2024 which comes through winning you Nations League section.