Football

GER Vs SCO, Euro 2024: Scotland Boss Steve Clarke 'Kicked Backsides And Gave Cuddles' After Germany Defeat

Scotland suffered the heaviest defeat in an opening game at any European Championship on Friday, being routed 5-1 by a rampant Germany team in Munich

Steve Clarke watches on during Scotland's 5-1 loss to Germany
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Steve Clarke says he had to "kick a couple of backsides and give some cuddles" after Scotland were thrashed by Germany in their Euro 2024 opener, but he is certain his team's self-belief remains intact. (More Football News)

Scotland suffered the heaviest defeat in an opening game at any European Championship on Friday, being routed 5-1 by a rampant Germany team in Munich.

Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can all scored for the hosts, while Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horror challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

It was the first time Scotland had conceded five or more goals in a game since a 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States in 2012, and the first time in a competitive match since a 6-0 loss to the Netherlands in Euro 2004 qualifying 21 years ago.

At the other end, meanwhile, Scotland failed to record a shot on target in a major tournament game for the first time since Euro 1992 (0-1 versus Netherlands).

Asked what he had done in response to the defeat, Clarke said on Sunday: "Kick a couple of backsides, give some cuddles, make the players understand why the Germany result happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.

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"I've spoken to one or two players around the squad whose opinion I value. I had a good chat with a few of them.

"I think their interpretation of what we asked them to do was wrong, so we've worked on that."

Scotland must now pick themselves up for Wednesday's meeting with Switzerland, who began their own Group A campaign with an impressive 3-1 win over Hungary.

The Tartan Army could lose their first two matches at a tournament (World Cup/Euros) for the fourth time, having done so at the 1954 and 1986 World Cups and Euro 1992.

However, Clarke insists confidence in the camp is still high, adding: "We believe in ourselves, there's no danger of that. We know it was a bad night.

"We have to accept all the criticism that comes our way and then we have to put it right. To be in football, you have to be very resilient."

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