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Clarke’s toughest task will come before facing Germany says Gordon Strachan



GORDON STRACHAN reckons Steve Clarke will already know his Scotland team to face Germany – but the toughest part will be telling those who miss out.

Boss Clarke put his stars through their paces on Monday ahead of the Euro 2024 opener in Munich on Friday night.


Steve Clarke has set up camp with the Scotland squad in GermanyCredit: PA
He's putting the finishing touches to his team selection in scenic Garmisch-Partenkirchen


He’s putting the finishing touches to his team selection in scenic Garmisch-PartenkirchenCredit: PA
And Sunsport columnist Gordon Strachan reckons he's already made up his mind on who'll play


And Sunsport columnist Gordon Strachan reckons he’s already made up his mind on who’ll playCredit: Darren Fletcher

Ex-Scotland gaffer Strachan – speaking on the first edition of SunSport’s Go Ballistic podcast – is sure he’ll have his line-up sorted in his head.

But he knows from personal experience how tough it will be to let down those who will miss out on the starting side.

Strachan said: “Steve has to try to disguise his starting XI until he names it.

“If some players recognise at the first training session that they’re not going to be in the team, it can be a problem for that player.

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“The players will be looking for signs. Even the ones we take for granted will be looking for signals.

“It’s very hard for Steve because you want to be very precise in the information you’re giving.

“I think he’ll know his team now.

“He will know the system. There might be one or two where he thinks ‘what will we go with here?’

“It looks like it might just be right wing-back.

“Anthony Ralston will always give you good energy and get forward.

Scotland captain Andy Robertson tells Germans what to expect from the Tartan Army

“And probably the main striker – does Che Adams come back in?

“But that can give you sleepless nights as a coach – trust me!

“It was a big one for him over Craig Gordon. You try to make it as painless as possible.

“It will be hard for the player but it’s probably worse for the manager.

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“I’ve had the ‘you’re not playing’ thing from a manager at international level – and I’ve also had to tell players that they’re not playing.

“I found it worse to tell the players that they are not being selected than be told myself.”

SunSport’s Euro 2024 columnist Strachan loved John McGinn’s involvement with German locals as the squad was welcomed on Sunday.

He added: “We lack culture when we’re a bit younger.

“When you’re young, you think ‘that’s great, thanks but let me get to the training ground’.

“I see John joined it. It was great – and it didn’t surprise me.

“He will probably be getting plenty from the players as we speak.

“I did it all. In ‘82, I stuck the sombrero on – and again in ‘86.

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“You look back a couple of years later and think ‘oh, what was I thinking about?’

“Then you look back again at my age and think ‘it was just a bit of fun – who cares?’”

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