Steve Clarke to make crucial John Souttar decision for Scotland against Ukraine

Steve Clarke has been advised to place his faith in John Souttar for Scotland’s crucial World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 3:31 pm

The defender completed 120 minutes for Hearts in the Scottish Cup final ten days ago following two months out with an ankle injury. Robbie Neilson, the club’s manager, is convinced he is ready for international duty at Hampden Park tonight.

Souttar played and scored in the final World Cup qualifier against Denmark last November but missed March’s friendlies against Poland and Austria through injury.

He will join Rangers on a pre-contract next month on a pre-contract agreement. Neilson pointed to his cup final exploits in his final Hearts appearance as perfect evidence that he is ready for Ukraine.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“John played in the Scottish Cup final for 120 minutes and was one of the best players on the park. I don't see any issues at all,” he told the Evening News. “He has been back in full training for a few weeks now and built himself up to cope with 120 minutes in a cup final. You can't really ask much more than that.

“Now it's just a case of Scotland getting him ready. I'll be at the game on Wednesday. You look at some of the guys based in England and a few of them haven't played for three or four weeks now. John probably has better match fitness than some of them.

“If Steve speaks to John, I don't think he would have any qualms at all about putting him in. Craig Gordon has been outstanding for Hearts all season in goal as well, and hopefully he does well again for Scotland.”

Read More

Read More
How Scotland won the Euros 40 years ago
John Souttar during a Scotland training session at Riccarton.