Steve Clarke reveals changes for Slovakia as Scotland coach ends up on crutches after celebrations go awry

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has revealed there will be changes to his side for Sunday’s Nations League clash with Slovakia as his squad deals with the comedown from the euphoria of Thursday's historic night in Belgrade.

Steve Clarke, head coach of Scotland, looks on during the UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off final between Serbia and Scotland at Rajko Mitic Stadium on November 12, 2020. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Steve Clarke, head coach of Scotland, looks on during the UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off final between Serbia and Scotland at Rajko Mitic Stadium on November 12, 2020. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Clarke has injury and suspension issues to contend with while the exertions of both the match itself - a number of players completed the full 120 minutes - and the subsequent celebrations have taken a toll.

The national team boss also revealed that coach John Carver - a recent addition to the national set-up after Kilmarnock manager Alex Dyer stepped down to focus on his club role - ended up on crutches after joining in the full-time celebrations as Scotland booked their place in Euro 2020 with a penalty shoot-out win over Serbia to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in 23 years.

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"Unfortunately he has ended up on crutches although in his defence I have to point out that he got the injury on the pitch at the end," he said.

"Somebody jumped on his back and unfortunately his calf exploded. He has a really sore one, he is hobbling around but he is putting a brave face on it."

Clarke admitted captain Andy Robertson is his "biggest worry" with the Liverpool left back suffering from a tight hamstring, while QPR frontman Lyndon Dykes is suspended after picking up a booking in the 1-0 win over Czech Republic.

"Mentally, for a lot of them it was a really tough night," Clarke said. "Listen we have recuperated quite well. I know the party and the celebration has made a lot of headlines but because of the draining nature of the game, emotionally and physically, it actually just broke up by itself.

"You get to a stage in the night when you are just tired and drift off to bed. That’s not such a big part of it but the effort in the game was huge so I’m going to have to make a few changes to the team.

"I will speak to certain players about whether they are good to go again. Because on the back of the next game we have another on Wednesday [against Israel]. We have two games to prepare for."

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