New Scotland boss Steve Clarke relishing working with Celtic playmaker


New Scotland manager Steve Clarke admits he is relishing working with Celtic playmaker James Forrest during his time in charge of the national team.

Forrest has enjoyed an outstanding personal campaign for the treble treble winners after picking up the Ladbrokes, PFA Scotland and Scottish Football Writers’ Association player of the year awards.

The 27-year-old has found the net 17 times for his club and been credited with some 20 assists this season, and has also chipped in with five Scotland goals during the campaign.

And former Kilmarnock boss Clarke, who names his first squad today for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium, is looking forward to having the player at his disposal.

He said: “You want to work with the best quality of player that you can.

“I think James Forrest in-particular is an exciting one because since Brendan Rodgers went to Celtic, he went in there and changed James’ game a little bit. 

“He started getting him coming in off the line and linking up and now you see James arriving in the box, eleven (Premiership) goals I think this season and plenty of assists as well and hopefully he can continue that.”

Clarke, however, has warned the Tartan Army not to expect overnight success following predecessor Alex McLeish’s underwhelming 12-game reign.

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “Obviously I’m trying to change the outlook, but I’m not miracle worker and it might not change immediately.

“But I think given time and given the right support from the supporters and the country, if they can get behind us and get behind the players I do select and get behind the team that does play, hopefully we can put things right.”