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Steve Clarke: Scotland 'feel good' ahead of Hungary tie at Euro 2024

Scotland boss Steve Clarke hopes his charges have learned a few Euro 2024 lessons ahead of the all-important clash with Hungary in Group A on Sunday.

The Scots have just one point from their first two matches against Germany and Switzerland but a win against Hungary would almost certainly see Scotland into the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Clarke and his side were in the same situation in the delayed Euro 2020 after losing to the Czech Republic and drawing with England but they fell well short in their final game, losing 3-1 to Croatia at Hampden Park.

However, the Scotland boss believes he and his squad have used the intervening years wisely.

"We feel good," said Clarke. "We thought it might come down to needing to get something out of the last game in the group.

"We've been in this position before at the last tournament but hopefully we can show that we've learned a few lessons.

"There has been a lot of recovery, a lot of rest, hopefully some good information for the players.

"We had a really good training session this morning and when they cross the white line they have to put that information into practice and hopefully you see the results at the end.

"The players have got a hell of a lot more experience. If we can qualify more regularly for these tournaments, you understand what you're doing.

"I think we've done a lot of things right this time that maybe we didn't get quite right the last time.

"Hopefully when we get to the last game the proof of the pudding is in the eating if you like, so that's what we're after.

"Hopefully we go to the match tomorrow and we do what we're good at. If we do that we've got a chance."

Clarke is well aware of the magnitude of the occasion and the support he is getting from the tens of thousands of the Tartan Army who have made their way to Germany and those supporting from home.

The former St Mirren, Chelsea and Scotland defender said: "The whole tournament is a sense of occasion. For Scotland, the first major overseas tournament since 1998. I was still playing then, that was a long time ago.

"You can see how much the supporters out here are enjoying themselves. I am sure the five million at home are also engrossed in the tournament. It's not just about this game, it's about all the games.

"We know we have to win the game to progress to the next round and that's what we aim to do.

"Nothing except three points for us is what we're thinking.

"We need to get three points to at least finish third in the group and we'll see where that takes us in the competition."

Hungary have lost their first two games but Clarke is reading little into that fact.

The former West Brom and Kilmarnock manager said: "If you look at their record the past few years, they've been building towards this.

"A good coach, well organised, good discipline without the ball, a good threat with the ball.

"They've got talented players but hopefully we can stifle them. We're expecting a difficult game and I'm sure the Hungarians are also expecting a difficult game from us.

"We're two similar teams, two similar line-ups and two similar systems, hopefully ours is slightly better than theirs."
 

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