CLARKE’S KEEN TO MEET MIKE
STEVE CLARKE is renowned for knowing his own mind – but that won’t stop him looking for advice from his predecessors and peers.
The new Scotland boss wants a clear run at the June double-header but after that he’s going to be listening and learning as he goes.
He said: “I got a message from Alex McLeish, I’ve heard from Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill – there a lot of people I want to speak to over the coming weeks and months, after this first camp, though.
“I’m going to blunder my way through this one myself.
“But Michael wants to have a chat, I’d like to sit down at some stage with Walter Smith, who did very well with the national team, I’ll speak to Alex – he’s a great guy – and Gordon Strachan.
“I also know Dan Ashworth, who’s just left the England set-up to go to Brighton and I’ll sit down with him and find out what they did with the English teams because their young sides are doing fantastically well, they’ve got a great pathway.
“I’ll try to get a chat with Gareth Southgate as well and try to steal some of his secrets because his team have also done pretty well.”
Clarke has already had a sit-down with performance director Malky Mackay but insists he’ll be focusing strictly on the national team rather than what lies beneath.
He said: “I got the tin tack from West Brom after we’d played Malky’s Cardiff side – and if we’d won he was getting the sack! It was one of those games.
“I know him professionally, not personally, but we’d a chat this week and we’ll find a way to work together for the benefit of the nation.” BOHEMIANS goalkeeper James Talbot was drafted into the Republic of Ireland squad last night.
The ex-Sunderland man is on fire this season and answers Mick McCarthy’s SOS call following injury to Mark Travers on Wednesday.
Talbot, 22, will provide cover for Darren Randolph and Sean McDermott in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark on June 7 and Gibraltar on June 10.
But he won’t be joining the squad at their training camp in Portugal and will instead link up with the panel in Dublin on Tuesday.
Talbot (above) will be released for the Gypsies’ league game against Finn Harps on Friday before rejoining the Irish squad.
McCarthy said: “We’ve had a couple of injuries to goalkeepers and Caoimhin Kelleher is going to the Toulon Tournament with the Under-21s.
“We’ve brought in James Talbot due to his recent form. Our goalkeeping coach, Alan Kelly, kept an eye on the lad and he’s done very well.”
Bristol City goalkeeper Max O’Leary has also been drafted inbut he is not yet eligible for competitive games.
BOSS TO BOSS