'Excellent' Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour earn Scotland praise

Steve Clarke heaped praise on teenage duo Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour after the win over Moldova. The Scotland boss was delighted with both players and branded them 'excellent' after their showings at Hampden as they both made their first competitive appearances at the national stad...

'Excellent' Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour earn Scotland praise

Steve Clarke heaped praise on teenage duo Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour after the win over Moldova.

The Scotland boss was delighted with both players and branded them 'excellent' after their showings at Hampden as they both made their first competitive appearances at the national stadium.

Gilmour spoke after the game to urge his team-mates to be more clinical in attack and that was something Clarke echoed, although he was delighted to keep a clean sheet.

The manager felt it was vital for Scotland to do that after the recent results where he's felt they've conceded too many goals, but it was overall a performance he was happy with.

Patterson played the full 90 minutes while Gilmour was subbed in the second half, but Clarke admitted he would probably have taken the full back off as well if it wasn't for a worry over Andy Robertson.

The skipper was subbed in the second half as he tired and the Scotland boss admitted it was largely down to the injury he suffered while playing for Liverpool in pre-season.

He told Sky Sports: "It's a good win for us. We needed a second goal to make it more comfortable but in terms of chances against, almost none.

"We defended well and saw out the last 10 minutes. Everyone was getting a little bit nervous but it wasn't really that nervous only the scoreline.

"We started well and created a lot of chances and we should have been more clinical and it would have been a more comfortable night.

"We had other chances to get the second goal and it would have made it an easier night. I was pleased with the attitude and the performance.

"We had a lot of changes and there wasn't a lot of time on the training pitch. It was pleasing to see that the boys went in and slotted in and did their job.

"I'm a great believer that if you keep creating chances then eventually you'll score them and hopefully in one of these games we'll take two or three of the chances.

"It's always good when your strikers score. I was hoping Kevin Nisbet would nick one as well but he didn't have too many chances in the game.

"It doesn't matter who scores the goal. It was nice to get the clean sheet, we spoke before the game to make sure we didn't concede cause in recent games we've probably conceded too many.

"If you don't concede you've got a chance to win.

"They were both really good. Nathan was excellent. They both faded a little bit second half.

"Billy is a good player, I don't need to say that. He was excellent on the night, he's always willing to be on the ball and dictate the tempo for us from midfield.

If I had the chance to make six subs I would have probably taken Nathan off a little bit early as well but Andy Robertson was struggling a little bit on the left so I thought I'd protect him a little bit.

"It's just a consequence of the fact he (Robertson) has been out injured. He played the full game on Wednesday and the plan was always to get him off tonight at some stage."