Steve Clarke hoping to deliver more success with Scotland after signing new deal

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Scotland boss Steve Clarke is looking to the future after signing a contract extension that takes him through to the end of the Euro 2024 campaign.

The former West Brom and Kilmarnock boss took Scotland to the delayed Euro 2020 this summer, the national team’s first major tournament since 1998.

His initial contract was due to expire at the end of the current World Cup cycle but speaking at Hampden Park, after announcing his squad for the matches against Denmark, Moldova and Austria next month, he looked to build even longer term on recent qualification success.

“It is obviously nice when your bosses think you’ve done a decent job and they give you a little extension so it was nice to get that one put away,” said Clarke.

“It was relatively straightforward and it wasn’t contract talks as such. It was did I want to extend? Did my bosses want to extend?

“The little taste we all got of the European Championships in the summer has made everybody excited for more so hopefully we can deliver.

“It took me a little while to get to grips with the different aspects of the national job. Recently I have enjoyed it if it is ever possible to enjoy the job.

“I have enjoyed it, it is a good challenge and it takes me out my comfort zone a little bit at times which is good.

Scotland react to their draw with Croatia
Scotland reached Euro 2020 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“I am not on the pitch coaching as much. You haven’t got the day-to-day involvement with the players.

“You are basically borrowing a group of players and trying to mould them into hopefully a successful squad and a successful team. It is just a different job. I like to challenge myself and hopefully we can get more success.”

Clarke, however, has had to reshuffle his backroom staff after assistant Steven Reid and goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods stepped down because of club and family commitments.

Former England and Rangers number one Chris Woods has come on board while Aston Villa set-piece coach Austin MacPhee also joins John Carver in the backroom team.

Clarke said: “The first thing for me is to pay tribute to Steven and Stevie Woods, who were a big part of my team right from the first minute I came into the job.

“And then you’ve got to realise they are working full time at their clubs so working all the time and especially in Steven Reid’s case he is working in Nottingham, his family live in London, and he is coming away every international break.

“I knew pretty early on after the Euros that Steven was going to leave so from there I have been looking around trying to get the right person.

“In Austin, I have someone different to Steven, he is going to bring a different dynamic to the squad.

“He also has a good reputation and record in an area where I think we can improve a little bit, which is set plays for and against, so hopefully we can work on that and do better.

“Stevie Woods is similar, he is full-time with Celtic, working all the time and he is not getting a lot of time with his family in the international breaks.

“Stevie decided only a couple of weeks ago that it was the right time for him to step aside so I looked at my contacts and managed to track down Chris Woods, someone who I haven’t worked with before.

“I look forward to working with Chris, he is a good lad. Quite importantly, he knows the Scottish scene, he knows the little peculiarities of Scottish football, he understands it and I believe he did his coaching badges up here.

“He is looking forward to it and I think the goalkeepers will enjoy working with Chris.”

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