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Scotland manager Steve Clarke lauds Andy Robertson after reaching captaincy milestone

Scotland manager Steve Clarke described Andy Robertson as a 'proper leader' after the Liverpool defender etched his name into history by becoming the most-capped player as captain of the national team.

Robertson led Scotland out for the 49th time in Friday's 2-2 draw with Finland, beating a record held by former Rangers defender George Young.

There were other milestones in the game as Tommy Conway made his debut, Grant Hanley won a 50th cap and 41-year-old Craig Gordon became Scotland's oldest international when he came on for his 75th appearance.

And Clarke believes 30-year-old Robertson has the opportunity to continue racking up his own records after winning his 70th cap.

"He didn't get a special shirt because he's definitely not finished," Clarke said. "I think 49 games as captain is now the record. You look at Andy, you think, well, come on Andy, there's a few more there to come.

"He's been great for me. He got the captaincy at a really young age but he's grown into the role. He's a proper leader.

"So what I'm saying about handing out strips, Tommy Conway got a signed strip with number one on the back and 50 for Grant Hanley, 75 for for Craig. These things come from the captain. It's his idea.

"It's his thoughts that are going into this and saying, look this is what we're about, let's keep the group tight, make sure that we're always giving these little mementoes.

"Obviously they get medals in, silver for 25, gold for 50, I don't know what they get for 75. But it always takes about a month before they actually get those medals, so it's nice on the night if you can give them something. So that was the thinking behind that.

"Super performance from Andy. Always on the front foot. Proper captain."

Robertson was arguably Scotland's best player against the Finns, setting up both goals, one an own goal and the other for Lawrence Shankland.

His fellow wing-back, Celtic's Anthony Ralston, also cemented his place in the team with a positive performance and might have won a penalty after being barged off the ball as he attacked a cross.

"He was good," Clarke said. "Start of the game, he was he was quite safe but kept the ball. He obviously plays with a team, a club side who who pass the ball a lot. So I'd imagine their training sessions are pretty much possession based. I know Brendan's (Rodgers) training sessions will be possession-based, so he's good on the ball, keeps the ball, doesn't give it away too many times.

"He started to get in the right position, got a few balls into the box, few decent crosses and I was pleased with Tony."

It was also a good night for Shankland, who netted his third international goal.

The Hearts striker headed home Robertson's cross after failing to test the goalkeepers with several half-chances in the friendlies against both Gibraltar and Finland.

Clarke believes the goal, Shankland's first for Scotland since his late equaliser in Georgia in November, will give the forward a major boost going into Friday's Euro 2024 opener against Germany.

"He give me a big smile when he came off," Clarke added. "I think he was happy.

"That's important. Listen, strikers live on goals. Lawrence was a little bit frustrated, I think, after the Gibraltar game because any chances that fell didn't fall to him.

"But he kept getting in there and eventually got his head on one and a good finish. Strikers live on goals."

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