Craig Brown column: Czech loss was crucial one that put paid to Scotland's Euro 2020 hopes

Now that the dust has settled on Scotland’s Euro 2020 exit, it is clear that losing 2-0 to the Czech Republic in our opening match was the key behind our failure to qualify from a tough Group D.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:30 am
Steve Clarke during Croatia defeat (Pic by Lee Smith/Getty Images)

The Czech game at Hampden Park was the one in which we made most chances. We could and should have won it.

If we’d got a wee break against the Czechs it would have been a totally different result I’m sure.

We did really well to get a 0-0 draw down in England but if we could have somehow beaten the Czechs it would have seen us qualify.

It’s easy to blame the manager for us failing to reach the last 16, but I don’t think anyone can get more out of the team than Steve Clarke did.

It’s easy to blame Clarke for not picking David Turnbull at all and restricting Ryan Fraser to two substitute appearances when both players offer a significant goal threat.

I saw Fraser at Aberdeen and he got on a couple of times for Scotland but it was belatedly.

Clarke’s predecessors Alex McLeish and Gordon Strachan were helpful in improving the team, but Clarke was the man who got us to a major finals.