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Clarke: We must learn from Russia defeat

Steve Clarke has urged his Scotland side not to dwell on their 4-0 defeat to Russia but to instead learn the harsh lessons as they prepare to face Group I minnows San Marino.

Scotland are fifth in the group with just six points going into Sunday’s round of matches, 12 points behind second-placed Russia and a further three points adrift of Belgium.

That leaves Clarke’s side reliant on making it to Euro 2020 via the play-off place they earnt after a successful National League competition, rather than the European Qualifiers.

The game against bottom club San Marino – yet to register a goal, let alone a point during qualification – has therefore come at the right time and Clarke wants his players to turn in a positive performance in front of their home fans at Hampden Park, live on Sky Sports.

“We’re just looking to get over the disappointment of the other night and get ready for our next game,” said Clarke.

“What’s gone is gone, we have to learn from it. I think in adversity you always learn more about people sometimes than when things are positive.

“So we have to learn those lessons, stick together as a group and we have to turn the corner and what better way to turn the corner than the game tomorrow night.”

Clarke has confirmed Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin will start in place of David Marshall as he looks to rotate some areas of his squad.

“One that will be a definite change – and it was a pre-planned change – David Marshall will change and Jon McLaughlin will play,” added Clarke.

“I need a second goalkeeper with more caps, more experience to play. That was always planned.”

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