Scotland coach Steve Clarke has confirmed that Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin will face San Marino on Sunday.

The Scots want to get back on their feet after a 4-0 defeat by Russia with a morally positive victory over San Marino, the traditional whipping boy of international football.

Clarke urged Scotland to focus on what lies ahead rather than looking back as they struggled to bring their European Championship qualifying campaign to a climax.

Scotland are four points behind third-placed Cyprus in Group I after four defeats and 13 goals conceded.

But Clarkes team has time to reverse their fate and restore confidence in the camp before the decisive Nations League play-offs in March and still stand three group games.



Sunderlands and Scotland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin (right)
Sunderlands and Scotland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin (right)

And before the game against San Marino, he announced that McLaughlin of Sunderland will replace David Marshall between the sticks.

"One that will definitely be a change – and it was a planned change – 'David Marshall will change and Jon McLaughlin will play," he said.

"Because I need a second goalkeeper with more internationals and more experience, it was always planned."

With a third place in the group and the ability to qualify for next year's play-offs for Euro 2020, Clarke is looking forward to reflecting on recent defeats.

At his pre-game press conference, he said, "The only way to turn the corner is to win games.

"We can always look back and beat ourselves or say, OK, everything we want to achieve is still ahead of us."

"That's the way I have to see it, if you look at the possibilities, we have to win our next three games to be in the group of third parties – that's still ahead of us."

"When we win these three games, we get back the certainty we all strive for.

"And if we do, we'll go to the play-off games in March, hopefully with two games to qualify for Euro 2020."

"So everything is still in front of us, no matter how bad it was or how disappointed we are – we still have everything to play."

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