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Clarke "can't shield" Scotland players from negative comments online

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

16:33 15 Jun 2021

Steve Clarke has admitted that he cannot protect his players from any online abuse they may receive after a losing start at Euro 2020.

The Scotland boss feels that his players performed well despite losing 2-0 to the Czech Republic in their Group D opener at Hampden Park on Monday.

Unfortunately, as seems to be the norm these days, there were plenty of negative online comments aimed at the players in the wake of the defeat but Clarke will not be putting any measures in place in an attempt to keep them away from social media.

"I can't shield them. If they want to go online and read what's been written about them, I can't shield them," said Clarke.

"But we can understand what we're trying to do. We're a group, the players, that are determined to do well for their country. I think we've shown that over the last number of games and we'll continue to do that. We want to keep working, we want to keep learning, we want to keep getting better and that's what we'll strive to do.

"Sometimes you have to take a negative result, and then you have to bounce back and hopefully we'll come back stronger."

The task of bouncing back is a daunting one in the shape of an England side with three points already bagged thanks to their win against the 2018 World Cup finalists, Croatia.

England's Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group D match between England and Croatia at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Glyn Kirk/Pool Photo via AP)

Scotland also have to play the tie on Friday at Wembley Stadium, but it is a challenge that the Scotland boss is relishing.

"It's a great game to bounce back in," said a confident Clarke on Tuesday. "The players are looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure the Tartan Army, the ones that have tickets for it, will be looking forward to it as well.

"Every game in a tournament is a big game. I think the fact it's against our friends from south of the border makes it extra special. So yeah, it's a good game for us.

"We go there and we'll respect their ability. They're a top team. They were in the last four of the last World Cup. Gareth's down a great job. He's got a young, good, exciting team. They got off to a good start, we didn't so we need to remedy that on Friday."

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