Steve Clarke insists Scotland still have “a lot to look forward to” – but admits they must learn to be more clinical if they are to continue their progress.
The Scots gave up a four-point lead in Nations League Group B2 across their final two games, losing 1-0 in Slovakia on Sunday and then by the same scoreline in Israel tonight to be pipped by the Czech Republic.
As a result, the Dark Blues missed out on promotion to the Nations League top-tier, as well as a potential play-off should they fail to reach the World Cup in 2022 through regular qualifying.
The results came at the end of an international break which started with an historic Euro play-off win in Serbia, ending Scotland two decades without major tournament football.
With the European Championships in the summer, Clarke struck a balanced tone in his post-match comments after the defeat to the Israelis.
He told Sky Sports: “We’re all disappointed with the way the week has finished. It was a historic week for Scottish football, it’s been a long time coming for us to qualify for a major tournament.
“There was no lack of endeavour, but it was a game that was similar to Sunday’s. It was just a little bit of a lack of quality in the final third. We had chances, but couldn’t get the goal.
“We just had a quick chat about (needing to be more clinical at this level). If we want to keep improving – and we do – and take the national team forward then we do have to be a little bit more clinical. We have to make better choices in the final third.
“But in the space of a little more than a year we have come a long way and we shouldn’t forget that. That’s really important, we can’t go back to having negativity around the national team that we had before. We’ve got a lot to look forward to.”