Steve Clarke admits Tommy Conway could get late Scotland call-up for Euro 2024

Scotland manager Steve Clarke admitted Tommy Conway was in his thoughts for a late Euro 2024 call-up after his side missed a series of chances in a 2-0 victory over Gibraltar.

Clarke is still considering whether to call up another forward after Lyndon Dykes was ruled out with an ankle injury over the weekend.

Bristol City striker Conway sent a reminder of his finishing ability with a headed goal in Scotland Under-21s’ 2-1 friendly defeat in Turkey while Clarke’s side laboured in front of goal before Ryan Christie and substitute Che Adams netted in the second half.

“It was nice that Tommy scored,” said Clarke, who expects defender Liam Cooper to quickly shake off the knock that forced him off in the second half in the Estadio Algarve in Faro.

“He is a good boy, Tommy, and he is certainly in my mind. I‘ve still got to sit down with John (Carver), James (Morrison) and Austin (MacPhee) and Chris Woods and just have a little chat through and try to come up with something that will help us now going into this tournament.

“Can we replace Lyndon like for like? No. Would it have been a better performance with Lyndon in the team? Probably no, because they dealt very, very well with high balls into the box. They defended the box really well.

“So we just need to find a little bit more craft from certain players on the pitch to unpick that type of defence.”

Clarke currently has 27 players in a squad that needs to be cut to 26 before the tournament but his decision over the forward situation may be influenced by the absence of Ben Doak from the match day squad in Portugal as the 18-year-old works his way back from a long-term knee injury.

“He has had a little reaction to the two training days so we just decided not to risk him,” Clarke said. “Take him off the bench and there is no risk.”

Clarke might also have been thinking about the striker situation during a 58-minute wait to get the opener against Gibraltar, who are ranked 203 in the world.

“We came here as a training exercise and created a lot of chances,” he said.

“What I would say and I said this to the lads at half-time, if we want to keep improving as a team, when you create that number of chances in the first half, and good chances, you have to score them. That just takes the pressure off. It releases the tension around the place.

“I stopped counting at six in the first half, what I would count as ‘goal chances’. A better ratio would have been two or three at half-time and we can go out and play with a little more freedom in the second half.

“I told them not to panic at half-time and they didn’t panic. We scored two good goals – well, one good goal, Che’s was a good goal, Ryan’s was a bit scrappy.”

Cooper allayed Clarke’s fears to a major extent with his initial prognosis but the manager was worried when the Leeds defender stayed down following a collision.

“I s*** myself,” Clarke said. “You get a collision and you get some who try to pull the wool over the referee’s eyes, but Liam doesn’t stay down very often.

“I was trying to get a message down – obviously I watched the game from higher up – I was trying to get a message down to the bench saying ‘any doubt, get him off’. That’s what we did.

“I spoke to him straight after the game, it looks like a knee-on-knee collision, sore for a couple of days. Fingers crossed it should be fine.”