Callum McGregor says Steve Clarke can help Scotland reach major tournament
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 21/05/19 4:32pm
Callum McGregor has given his backing to new Scotland head coach Steve Clarke and believes he can help the national side reach a major tournament.
The ex-Reading and West Brom boss steered Kilmarnock to a third-placed finish in the Scottish Premiership this season - their highest since 1966 - which meant Killie secured a preliminary qualifying round spot for next season's Europa League.
Celtic midfielder McGregor hopes Clarke can replicate his successful club-management tenure with Scotland, and guide them to major-tournament qualification for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.
McGregor, who has 11 caps for his country, said: "I think it's a great appointment. It's a good appointment for the Scottish players and the Scottish people so everyone's happy.
"Obviously his record at Kilmarnock since he came up to Scotland has been absolutely brilliant.
"He made them organised and very hard to beat and hopefully that's the way Scotland will be in the future. His record down south also speaks for itself.
"We need everyone, we need all the best players fit and on the pitch at the same time, hopefully that's the gaffer's message and hopefully the players will back that as well and we'll get to that major tournament."
Scottish Premiership manager of the season Clarke also won the PFA Scotland and Scottish Football Writers' manager of the season awards.
Clarke's first tests as Scotland boss are two crucial European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium next month.
Scotland won 2-0 against San Marino and lost 3-0 away in Kazakhstan in their opening two games, which led to the SFA sacking Alex McLeish in April.
McGregor added: "These are the biggest two games, we need to try and pick up some points, so we're looking forward to it.
"It's a big time for the nation and were desperate to qualify [for Euro 2020]."
Watch Scotland vs Cyprus and Scotland vs Belgium live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7:45pm on June 8 and 12.