Steve Clarke names Scottish star he supports in Serbia as he talks about his playoff options

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Steve Clarke leads Scotland to his date with fate in Serbia, feeding a hunch Oli McBurnie could join a roster of national heroes by sacking the winner in Belgrade.Clarke and his players are 90 minutes away from qualifying for a major final for the first time since France 98 – and have carved their names into history.

And while the tartan army holds its breath and hopes a new legend follows in the footprints of former prolific greats such as Joe Jordan, Kenny Dalglish and Ally McCoist, boss Clarke believes McBurnie could be destined to break. his
international duck in the most dramatic of
conditions.

The £ 20million Sheffield United striker has yet to score for Scotland despite 12 caps in the past two years.

And the great man has seen his commitment to the cause questioned by fans who accused him of putting the club before the country.

But Clarke has been supportive of McBurnie throughout it all and the national boss has hinted that McBurnie could yet emerge as the man of the moment in the
confrontation with Serbia.

When asked if he was considering deploying Aston Villa’s John McGinn in a more advanced role to partner Lyndon Dykes in the attack as a replacement for injured Ryan Fraser, Clarke said: “There are many solutions.

“I’m still a fan of Oli McBurnie because he still has a lot to offer us.

“When you watch the last two games he’s hit the frame twice and you’re still thinking in the back of your mind, ‘He’s a goal owed – there’s a goal that’s going to come from him.’




“I also have Oli Burke who can give you that pace of lead that Ryan Fraser has given us.

“Ryan Christie was on the team and was doing well for me before when he played alongside Lyndon.

“So I have a lot of options. I can also modify the system a bit to accommodate two attacking midfielder as opposed
to one.

“John was good when he first moved up there. Recently, even for his club team, he has fallen back into one of two midfield positions. So he’s shown that he can play almost any position you ask him in midfield, which is great.

Clarke flew out of Edinburgh last night intending to sleep on his big game roster before making a final decision this morning.

He enters the showdown for a place at Euro 2020 bolstered in large part by the great game experience of players like Liverpool mainstay Andy Robertson, Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and £ 25million defender sterling of Arsenal Kieran Tierney as well as Old Firm rivals Ryan Jack, Callum McGregor, Christie and Leigh Griffiths.

But the manager is almost certain to keep his faith in international rookie Dykes, who is set to lead the Scottish attack after a blistering introduction to Clarke’s squad in the past three months since Livingston’s £ 2million move to Queens Park Rangers.




The manager said: “Lyndon will be fine if he’s selected to start the game. He will be fine because he has a good mentality and is very confident.

“He’s a confident person and I think he has adapted very well to his move to London.

“He’s in a good position and has been a good player for us the last few games so I have no problem with Lyndon on that front.

“His mentality is good and he will become a big game player. We will see that tomorrow night.

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