The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

‘Astute’ Ferguson’s Italian job makes him banker for variety of roles in Scots squad


although recently they have settled on him as the one behind the striker.

“He scored a fantastic goal against Lazio – a fantastic finish. And that is what he does. He has that threat.

“But if you watched the end of that game when they are 1-0 up and trying to

Josh Doig has also moved to Italy where he is plying his trade for Hellas Verona.

close the game out, he is running around and is in the right position trying to close people down.

“With a smaller squad for the finals, tactical nous is going to be very important going into the tournament.

“Everybody ready to play their part, hopefully Lewis stays fit and continues to do what he is doing and is part of that group next summer.”

Keeping Ferguson company in the group for the games against Georgia and, next Sunday, Norway is Josh Doig, formerly of Hibs but now also earning his living in Italy’s top-flight with Hellas Verona.

“It is something the lads are doing now and, as long as they play, it is really good thing,” said Clarke.

“I have looked down into Scott’s squad and there are a couple there who are playing abroad as well.

“I think it is probably a reflection of the more outgoing or more outward thinking young person now. Before it would always tend to look in. I never thought about going abroad as a player.

“Now it is something that they definitely look at, where it is their agent who is pushing it or something they look at themselves and thinking I want to go and play in that league, I want to challenge myself there.

“It is not just a great football experience; it is a fantastic cultural experience for them as well to go away. Josh has been a little bit in and out of the Verona team, but it looks as if this season he has really nailed down the position.

“He has been playing pretty regular. I look forward to seeing how he does in training. Maybe he gets a run out in one of the games.”

When Robert Snodgrass played for Scotland he always felt qualificat­ion for a major tournament wasn’t far off.

He won 28 caps for his country and was selected by Craig Levein, Gordon Strachan, Alex McLeish ahd Steve Clarke.

He retired from internatio­nal football early in Clarke’s tenure but has been delighted to see the success achieved in the past three years.

A popular player in the squad, he tried to drive standards on and off the park to help maximise the potential.

It meant Snodgrass and other senior players pushing the SFA for an all-round better experience for when they turned up for internatio­nal games.

The Hampden hierarchy listened and implemente­d as many of the suggestion­s as possible.

The rewards came under Clarke

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