Steve Clarke says Scotsman Billy Gilmour was awesome – but the man of the match was someone else – .

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Steve Clarke says Scotsman Billy Gilmour was awesome – but the man of the match was someone else – .



Jack Grealish runs with the ball under pressure from Stephen O’Donnell and Che Adams

The result keeps Scotland’s prospects alive in Group D as they seek to advance to the knockout stage for the first time in a major final.

Clarke made a big call when he faced Gilmour early on on a night where Scotland needed to earn at least one point.

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They managed to do it and could even have clinched a famous victory at Wembley. Gilmour, who was just 20 last week, was at the heart of everything Scotland did well until he was substituted 14 minutes from time.
The Chelsea midfielder won the Man of the Prize, relayed through Wembley Tannoy at the end. But Clarke felt that O’Donnell put on the performance of the night at right-back.
The Motherwell player could well have opened the scoring in the first half but was held back by a one-handed save by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
He rose to the challenge of keeping Raheem Sterling silent as well as England’s attacking left-back Luke Shaw, whom some believed had been chosen with the intention of trying to exploit Scotland’s supposed weakness in his right. O’Donnell also impressed when Phil Foden rolled over to his flank.
Asked about Gilmour’s performance, Clarke replied, “I thought Stephen O’Donnell was exceptional,” he said. “And Billy was right behind him. It was good for Billy to start – big platform, big stage, big player. We have been saying for a long time that he was part of the future of Scottish football. We know what we ‘“We have entered the camp and we will try to manage it properly and maintain control. Such performances will do him no harm. ”
He wasn’t afraid to give Gilmour his full debut on such an important night.
“I don’t think there is any risk when you have someone of Billy Gilmour’s talent,” he said. “When you put him on the pitch, you expect him to do what he did. He held the ball for us and allowed us to play in midfield. I didn’t think it was a risk to the balance of the rest of the team. We were ready to support Billy in his role and I think we did.
Clarke denied that criticism following Monday’s 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic was a particularly motivating factor.
“No,” he said. “The motivator was to get something out of the game so that we could go into the last game with a chance to qualify out of the squad. “
It wasn’t just the stitch that appealed to him, but the fact that Scotland secured it by playing great football. England were booed at the end by their fans.
“We played well,” said Clarke. “We had to be strong defensively when England had the ball to prevent them from creating the chances they will always create in the game. This side was nice. But yeah, it was nice to be able to play from behind, play in midfield, and sometimes we played a lot of good football. It was nice to see.
“Putting Kieran (Tierney) back in the bottom three, and Scott (McTominay), gives us the platform to build from the back and play football from the back,” he said.
“Billy and Callum (McGregor) in midfield are both good footballers. We knew we couldn’t come here and defend for 95 minutes or whatever the game. We knew we had the ball, we had to try to take care of it and create our own chances and that’s what we managed to do.

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