Former Reading gaffer in Scotland hotseat for Euro 2021 opener

Steve Clarke
Clarke said he spoke with Fulham for reason of professionalism and ambition (Picture: VIvienne Johnson)

A former Reading FC manager will be the man in charge as Scotland line-up for their biggest match in more than two decades this afternoon.

Steve Clarke, who was at the helm at the Madejski Stadium for a year after being appointed in December 2014, is in charge of the Tartan Army as they face Czech Republic in their Euro 2021 opener.

Although his time at Reading will be remembered by Royals fans with mixed feelings, he has the chance to become a national hero in Scotland as his side prepare to light up the international stage at the Euros.

Clarke made a promising start to his time as Royals boss, with the highlight of his reign culminating in a memorable FA Cup run which saw Reading reach the semi-finals in 2015, where they were narrowly beaten by Arsenal after extra-time in a thrilling cup contest.

However, Clarke’s time in Berkshire ended in disappointment after he talked to Fulham about becoming its manager, but eventually was ruled out of the running.

The links to the Fulham job proved to be the beginning of the end for Clarke, who was eventually sacked by the Royals in December 2015.

Like Brendan Rodgers, he has managed to reaffirm his reputation as a manager, which eventually led to him being appointed as manager of the Scotland national team in May 2019.

With the hopes of the Scottish nation on his shoulders, Clarke led Scotland to qualify for their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup as they defeat Serbia on penalties to book their place.

Scotland play Czech today in their first match (2pm kick-off) before they face their auld enemy, England, in a much-anticipated derby clash on Friday evening (8pm kick-off).

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