Scotland manager Steve Clarke was ‘proud’ of his players after an outstanding performance against one of the tournament favourites England at Wembley last night.
The Scots went into the game as massive underdogs after their 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic in their first game and England’s victory over Croatia but right from the start Clarke’s side looked the more likely to score.
Che Adams had an early chance then Stephen O’Donnell had a first-half shot saved.
After the break Lyndon Dykes’s shot was headed off the line after the break before Adams slashed wide from six yards.
Subdued England hit a post with a John Stones header in the first-half but were booed by their own fans in the closing stages of a famous result for Scotland.
After the final whistle Clarke said: “I’m proud of them and pleased for them as well because they got criticised a little bit too much after the result on Monday against the Czech Republic. We’ve been improving for a long time so it was nice to see on the pitch. We defended well but the most pleasing aspect was how well we played.
“We played well. Obviously we had to be solid defensively, we had to work really hard when England had the ball to stop them creating the chances that they always create. So that side of it was pleasing but it was also pleasing to see us playing out from the back and through the midfield.
“At times we played a lot of good football and it was nice to see. The criticism wasn’t a motivating factor. The motivating factor was to get something out of the game so that we can go into the last game with a chance of qualifying out of the group.”
Every player played their part in what was a magnificent performance and Clarke singled out a few of them for a special mention.
He continued: “Getting Kieran (Tierney) back into the back three, and Scott (McTominey) gives us the platform to build from the back and play football from the back,’ Clarke said. ‘Billy (Gilmour) and Callum (McGregor) in midfield are both good footballers.
“We knew we couldn’t come here and just in and defend for 95 minutes or whatever the game was going to be. We knew we had the ball we had to try and take care of it and create our own chances and that’s what we managed to do.
“I thought Stephen O’Donnell was exceptional. And Billy was just behind him. It was nice of Billy to get that start, big platform, big stage, big player Billy.
“We’ve said for a long time he was part of the future of Scottish football. We know what we’ve got in the camp and we will try to manage him properly and keep a lid on things. Performances like that will do him no harm whatsoever. I don’t think there is any risk when you have somebody of Billy Gilmour’s talent.
“When you put him on the pitch you expect him to do what he did. He held the ball for us and allowed us to play through the midfield.
“I didn’t think it was a risk for the balance of the rest of the team. We were ready to support Billy in his role and I think we did that. There are a lot of good people around and that supported Billy. It was great to see him get through 70 odd minutes on his first start. I have said for the last year that Billy will be a big part of the future of Scotland. We will try to take care of him and make sure he is a big player in the future.
“I’m pleased for everybody, all my players and all my staff. It was a little bit unfair some of the stuff that came our way after Monday’s result. Not Monday’s performance, but Monday’s result. I’m pleased for them. The objective tonight was to get something out of the game so we went into the last game with a genuine chance of getting something out of the group and that’s what we’ve done so we’re pleased with that.”