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Kieran Tierney looking for more clinical Scotland in front of goal

Scotland's Kieran Tierney (L) is closed down by Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky.
Scotland's Kieran Tierney (L) is closed down by Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky.

Kieran Tierney believes Scotland have to be more ruthless in front of goal as they chase promotion to League A of the Nations League.

The Scots remain top of their section in League B despite losing 1-0 in Slovakia on Sunday after Steve Clarke’s side was punished for failing to take their chances.

Defeat dampened the spirits following Thursday’s Euro 2020 playoff final win in Serbia which booked Scotland’s place in next summer’s European Championship but Tierney is focused on getting back to winning ways by beating Israel and winning their group in tomorrow’s final match of the campaign.

He said: “We wanted to win the game and if not, don’t lose the game so to come away from nothing was harsh on us as we created chances. You can’t fault us in any way except for the lack of goals.

“You are only as good as your last game and you don’t want to live off the other night forever. It’s a great achievement and the nation gave us all the credit but we wanted to win the game.

“The boys are playing with confidence and we were unlucky. They are a good team and they broke our press a few times. There’s stuff we have to learn but we can’t dwell on it too long as we’ve got the Israel game on Wednesday.

“We know how good Israel can be and we know it is going to be a tough game. We’re going there to give it our best shot and if we play like we did on Sunday hopefully we can add goals to our game.

“You learn from every game you play and hopefully we can be more clinical in the next game.”

Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie led the line in Slovakia in the absence of the suspended Lyndon Dykes.

The attacker is still chasing his first goal for Scotland in 14 appearances but Clarke insists he has no complaints about his contribution.

He said: “I’m looking at Oli’s overall game. What was Oli on the pitch for? He was there to hold the ball up. He was on the pitch to win his headers.

“He was on the pitch to allow Ryan Christie and Stuart Armstrong to get up and support him and all that happened so it was a good performance.

“Listen, the big man just has to keep believing. He just needs to keep working as hard as he did in this game and the goals will come.

“I can’t speak about criticism he’s getting on social media, but I can tell you he’s got the support of everyone in the camp.

“And he knows that.

“A goal would change things for any forward who is on a run of matches without goals. If he could get one sooner rather than later that would be better for him.

“But he’s got plenty of support from inside the camp.

“The squad is tight-knit – you don’t go on the run we were on without that – and everyone is together. We win together and we lose together. But in football that happens and there’s definitely a way to lose.”

Clarke made eight changes from the side which beat Serbia in Belgrade on Thursday but several of the starters are expected to return in Israel while captain Andy Robertson will be assessed.

The Scotland boss said: “There were three or four players who could have done with another 24 hours, just to get their recovery right. The game came a little too soon for them.

“Andy was probably a little bit worse than the rest, which is why I left him out. It would have been too big a risk.

“But he’s coming to Israel so we’ll assess him over there and hopefully get him on the pitch. That would be good as we’d like our captain on the pitch.”

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