Turkey 2-1 Scotland: Steve Clarke says ‘some things worked, some didn’t’ in defeat

Steve Clarke
Scotland were poor in the opening hour in Diyarbakir

Head coach Steve Clarke said “some things worked and some things didn’t” after Scotland fell to a disappointing 2-1 friendly defeat in Turkey.

Scotland named an experienced starting XI, but were second best for the first hour, and fell 2-0 behind to goals from Ozan Kabak and Cengiz Under.

Scotland did improve after John McGinn’s stunning strike, but end the calendar year with a loss.

“We have to analyse what we did and be much better next year,” Clarke said.

Scotland fans might have anticipated chances for fringe players with little on the line and Celtic’s players not released for this friendly encounter.

And while those did not come from the start, there was a debut off the bench for 19-year-old Liverpool defender Calvin Ramsay and a fifth cap for Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson, who has impressed in Serie A this season.

“Young Calvin gets his first cap, which is great for him. He gave us a little bit more defensive stability,” Clarke said. “Lewis came off the bench and was very good.

“There are positives to be taken from the game but the overriding feeling is disappointment that the four-game unbeaten run comes to an end.”

Clarke also bemoaned decisions going against his side on a night where VAR was not in operation.

Lyndon Dykes and Scott McKenna were grappled while challenging for the same cross into the box in the second half, but no foul was awarded.

But despite that frustration, the manager acknowledged that a poor start to the game is what cost Scotland.

“When you look at the penalty incident, it was a clear penalty and why it’s not given I do not know,” Clarke added.

“But I thought at times we coped quite well, at other times not quite so well. We probably gave up too many chances in the first half, a lot of them from our own slackness, maybe the mentality of a friendly.

“There were some things that we tried on the pitch, organisation and set-play wise that worked and some that didn’t.”