Scotland team in good spirits for European Qualifier vs Belgium, says Steve Clarke
Watch Scotland vs Belgium from 7.45pm on Monday, live on Sky Sports Football
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 08/09/19 8:23pm
Steve Clarke insists there are no problems in the Scotland camp, despite the contrasting opinions of Andy Robertson and Charlie Mulgrew that followed their defeat to Russia.
The Scots lost 2-1 at Hampden Park on Friday night, with captain Robertson saying he had "never seen anything like" it, accusing his team-mates of freezing after John McGinn scored the opener in their crucial European Qualifier.
Centre-back Mulgrew hit back, stating the timing of Russia's 40th-minute equaliser gave the game a different complexion.
- Mulgrew: Robertson assessment wrong
- Robertson lays into Scotland
- Scotland hopes hang by thread after loss
Speaking ahead of Monday's clash with Belgium, live on Sky Sports, Clarke said: "There is certainly no problem within the camp.
"I think you have so many experienced players around then Charlie saying he disagreed with Andy, they're all big boys and they can talk it through.
"There are no issues. I think honesty is great and tells you where everyone is at, and they want to do as well as they can for the country.
"Some of the talk after the game about the nerves and handling the game properly is not quite right. It was the way in which the game went away from us rather than the nervous aspect.
"We lost control of the game tactically because we allowed Russia to pen us in closer into our 18-yard box.
"I am not so worried about the mental aspect. We are strong mentally."
Scotland's hopes of qualification for Euro 2020 took a blow with the defeat to Russia, leaving Clarke's side fourth in Group I with two wins and three defeats.
"We're disappointed with the result on Friday so we have to try and make amends on Monday night," Clarke added.
"All the players are very experienced at their own level so they should be able to handle the expectation."
Robertson called on his team-mates to thrive on the pressure of their must-win game against Belgium.
The former Queen's Park, Dundee United and Hull player said: "At your club level you are maybe representing a town or a city, when you are coming up here you are representing your whole country. Everyone wants us to do well and everyone wants us to get to tournaments and support us in that way.
"But that's pressure we want. As kids, if you said we'd be in the Scotland squad, we would have been over the moon.
"All of us know how to deal with it but it's about showing it on the pitch. We have maybe not done that enough and it's about stepping up now and showing we want to play for our country, showing how proud we are to play for our country, and the result can follow."
Watch Scotland vs Belgium from 7.45pm on Monday, live on Sky Sports Football.