Soccer-Scotland boss Clarke tells fans to keep the faith despite Germany thrashing

Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group A - Germany v Scotland - Munich Football Arena, Munich, Germany - June 14, 2024 Scotland manager Steve Clarke looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Scotland manager Steve Clarke told supporters to keep backing his side after they were thrashed 5-1 by Germany in the Euro 2024 opener on Friday, saying the players must move on quickly and focus on getting four points in their final two group games.

Their performance against the hosts -- after a qualifying campaign that raised hopes Scotland might make it to the knockout round of a major tournament for the first time -- was not an indicator of his side’s quality, Clarke said.

“We are a better team than we showed tonight,” he told reporters in a post-match news conference. "We have to move on from this one. We have to move on quickly."

Germany thumped 10-man Scotland with three first-half goals and two late in the second of a match in which Clarke’s men barely touched the ball and failed to get any shots on goal.

Scotland did pull one back in the 87th minute but only when Antonio Rudiger headed into his own net and Clarke said there was not much his side could do once they fell behind.

Asked if starting midfielder Billy Gilmour, who came on late in the second half, could have changed things, Clarke said he doubted anything would have altered the outcome.

“I thought Germany were excellent and we couldn’t get a foothold in the game,” he said. “ I’m not too sure it would have made any difference.”

The Scots, who suffered the biggest opening game margin of defeat in the tournament's history, must regroup for their next game against Switzerland in Group A on Wednesday.

Clarke had no doubts about his players and said that, while Scotland did not play to their standard, the thousands of fans who have travelled to cheer on the side should keep the faith.

“See you at the next game,” he added.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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