Boyd backs no-nonsense Clarke to lead Scotland to major tournament

Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd has backed departing manager Steve Clarke to put uncommitted Scotland players in their place and lead the nation to a major tournament.

Boyd expects Clarke to approach the Scotland job with the same single-minded attitude that saw him achieve significant success at Rugby Park.

The 55-year-old was appointed head coach of the national team 24 hours after leading Killie to their highest league finish for 53 years and clinching European football for the first time in 18 years.

Boyd told Sky Sports News: “When you look at what he’s done since he came through the door at Kilmarnock, it’s unbelievable.

“If you look at Sunday’s team, only Youssouf Mulumbu wasn’t at the club (when Clarke arrived). So he took a team from the bottom of the table to third inside 20 months.

“It shows you the improvement he’s made, in every single player at the club. Not only the players, everyone round about as well. He’s a professional, he does everything correct.

“It’s obviously a big blow for us at Kilmarnock, but if you put your Scotland hat on, for me it’s a fantastic appointment.

“It’s been too long since we made a major tournament, 1998 in France, but if Steve Clarke is given time, he will be the man to take us back, definitely.”

The 35-year-old added: “I’ve seen the way he works, there will be no players calling off, because you won’t be back.

“A lot of times players have had it too easy at international level. Now we have a manager in place who is strong, who won’t take any rubbish. If you don’t turn up, you won’t be at the next gathering.

“He knows what he wants and he will achieve that, I’m sure.

“There’s a lot of times I feel as if there have been managers with Scotland who have tried to appease certain people, and fans and clubs.

“Steve Clarke will do it his way. It’s been successful at Kilmarnock and he will do the exact same with Scotland.

“He doesn’t care who he upsets, that’s what you need to be to reach the top.”

Boyd expects Scotland players to look forward to playing for Clarke.

The former Scotland striker said: “He will already have everyone on side because you can’t help but stand up and take notice of the job he has done at Kilmarnock. So I think a lot of the players will be intrigued to see exactly what he does.

“Sometimes it’s actually better to keep things simple. Every single person in our dressing room knew their job, they knew their responsibility within the team and will be the exact same at international level.

“The training might be basic, as some people say, but for me that’s the best. Everyone knows their jobs and you can see that on the pitch.

“I listen to a lot of these modern, young coaches come in and try to over-complicate things, formations this and tactics this.

“Every single thing the manager does is geared towards the game. As soon as the players meet up on the Sunday and Monday before an international, everything will be geared towards the game.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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