Steve Clarke tells Scotland to ‘regroup and go again’ against Switzerland

Steve Clarke insists Scotland have to do better when they face Switzerland in a crucial Euro 2024 game in Cologne on Wednesday night.

There was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the opening Group A match against Germany in Munich on Friday but it evaporated in an excoriating 5-1 defeat.

A sound thrashing left Scotland needing at least a point against the Swiss – who impressively beat Hungary 3-1 in their opening match – to keep alive realistic hopes of a Scotland men’s side reaching the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Clarke was clear and concise in his media conference at the Cologne Stadium as he surveyed the Swiss challenge.

A Scotland fan plays the bagpipes while others sing with their hands in the air
Scotland will be well backed again on Wednesday night

“Difficult opponent, I expect a difficult game,” said the Scotland boss, who will be without Ryan Porteous after the defender was handed a two-game ban for “serious rough play” after being sent off against Germany for a red-mist lunge on Ilkay Gundogan.

“For us, it is to regroup and go again. It’s that simple. It is about doing better, exactly that.

“The players want to go back and play better and I think that is pretty standard when you play so poorly and let yourself down.

“As I said when I spoke to a lot of you on Sunday, it is about doing better, working better into the game.

“We thought we were well prepared for Germany, obviously we weren’t. So this time I think it is better not to say too much and hopefully with our actions on the pitch we will show that we prepared well and a positive result would be lovely.”

Clarke targeted four points from the final two group games after the Germany defeat but insists only victory is on his mind on matchday two.

The former Kilmarnock and West Brom boss said: “To go into the game thinking you only need a point is dangerous. We go there to win, to be as positive as we can and we see where that takes us.

“It is more about making sure we perform as well as we can and if we can do that I am pretty confident we can get something from the game.

“I was very impressed with the Swiss. I thought they were excellent, really good in the first half and then controlled the second half well and when they needed a late goal to take some pressure off they managed to do that as well.

“It is a big challenge, a good team, a lot of good players, very strong down the spine of the team, defend well, don’t give too much away and have a lot of pace up front. So we expect a difficult night.”