Scotland coach Steve Clarke admitted that the loss of Billy Gilmour is a major setback for the team ahead of the massive Euro 2020 game against Croatia on Tuesday.
Gilmour impressed in a 0-0 draw with England last week but will now have to self-isolate for 10 days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Clarke said: “He is upset, as you would expect. He has no symptoms, I hope he is in good health. I hope he starts playing as soon as possible.”
“Obviously a big blow for us but an opportunity for someone else.
“Billy may have started the game and now he won’t, so this is a chance for someone else to get on the team and become a national hero.”
Scotland have received no instructions to place other players in self-isolation after Gilmour tested positive.
The Scottish FA has confirmed that the remaining 25 team members have completed and passed the lateral flow test on Monday.
When asked about the coronavirus protocol, Clarke replied, “It’s not my department. My department is preparing the team for the big game against Croatia and that’s what I focused on. “
And when asked if the situation has hindered his preparation for a game Scotland probably needs to win to reach the last 16, Clarke replied: “Obviously training has been interrupted a bit but the prelims. A lot of work was done during the camp and on practice, a few days before the tournament.
“You saw for yourself [in previous games]When they step on the pitch, the team knows exactly what they are doing. The team is organized, they know what to do and it will be very useful for us. “
Cooper: We have to make Billy proud
Scotland defender Liam Cooper admitted the news of Gilmour’s Test was a shock.
“Billy has just announced himself on the world stage and now he is,” said the Leeds centre-back.
“All I can say is that we are thinking about him. I have also had covid myself and I hope that he will remain without any symptoms and recover at the earliest.
“I know it’s hard but I’ve talked to him and he’s feeling good. We just send our love to Billy and hope he gets better soon.”
“We hate Billy, but it gives us a little more motivation to make him proud and hopefully we can get things done, win, and then we can start seeing other bands as well. . “
Asked if it was a matter of concern that Covid-19 had infiltrated the camp, Cooper said: “It was a setback for us. We followed the protocol and then it came back.
“We only listen to medical advice. Doc (John) McLean has been articulate and talented with us from day one. We took precautions around the training camp.
“We’re disappointed, I’m sure it’s destroyed, but we have to move on. We have a big game ahead of us and we have to win and that’s all our focus now.”
“We have been playing with this system for a long time under the direction of the manager and whoever comes in, they know their role and what to do. “
Souness: Gilmour’s absence is a blow
Former Scotland midfielder Graeme Souness said Gilmour’s loss “brings us down” as Clarke’s side are aiming for a place in the round of 16.
Despite only making his full debut against England, Souness believes Gilmour is already a full-fledged player for Scotland.
“He was the best player on the pitch that day,” said Souness. sky sports news. “It is a big blow to them, but what a big blow to the country.
“Just when things were going well; We played good football and he was the star of the show. For that to happen, it shakes us.
“This midfield trio of Callum McGregor, John McGregor and Gilmour was fantastic against England. He was good with the ball, he tracked it and looked like a really fine line. This is a big blow for us. “
Souness says Gilmour paid off the confidence he showed him with an outstanding performance against England and appeared carefree despite such high stakes.
“At 20, what a start,” he said. “He only made five starts for Chelsea in the Premier League last season so I thought he was going to get tired in the second half. But apparently he has a great engine, he continued.
“Going into this game sometimes even senior players burn off nervous energy. He showed no sign of it and the football he played on this stage with the pressure on the team was quite extraordinary.
“What kind of player is he going to be. He keeps the ball in tight spots and his first thought is to get it to the front, and he’s not afraid to get involved in the most important side of the game.
“It’s a big expectation and it’s a big blow. We will miss him. I know it sounds silly – his first international game, at the age of 20 – but he will be missed against Croatia.”