SCOTLAND manager Steve Clarke has asked the SPFL to consider moving the entire Ladbrokes Premiership card to the Friday night before the Euro 2020 play-offs at the end of March.

Clarke is keen to have as much time as possible with his squad before the semi-final against Israel – who have cancelled their top flight fixtures - at Hampden on Thursday, March 26.

He is keen to see both Celtic and Rangers progress to the last 16 of the Europa League and knows if they do they will have to play on the Sunday before the play-offs.

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But the Scotland manager asked representatives of all 12 Premiership clubs to consider switching their league games to the Friday at a meeting at Hampden on Monday.

“I did a question and answer for the SPFL the other day and I actually threw in the fact that they could play the card on the Friday night,” said Clarke. “Whether they do or whether they don’t I don’t know.

“I just threw it in there. I didn’t really expect a response and there was no real response. I just want them to be sensible. If Celtic and Ranger aren’t involved in Europe and they can keep the Sunday free then that would be fine.”

Clarke stressed that not having any Premiership games on the Saturday and Sunday before the Euro 2020 play-offs would give him far longer to work with his players ahead of the semi-final match against Israel and a possible final with Norway or Serbia.

“If they played on the Friday you could give them two days recovery on the Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “That means that on the Monday you have three good days work and preparation to go.

“But we can’t control the other fixtures, we can’t control the English league. If they want to pick Liverpool for a televised game on a Sunday, which is possible, then Andy (Scotland captain Robertson) will be playing on a Sunday.

“That would mean recovery on Monday and Tuesday and one training session to get ready for the game. That is just the way it is.”

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Clarke added: “You have also got the caveat that I hope throws a spanner in the works and Celtic and Rangers are still in European competition. If they are still in European competition they will play on the Thursday night which means that they have to play on the Sunday.

“All my hopes are that as many people are fit and available after that weekend and ready to come and play in the game. What I would say is whether they have got a week or a day to prepare they will be ready for this game. It is a massive game.”

Clarke, who was appointed in May, admitted the best time to arrange a free weekend before the Euro 2020 play-offs would have been before the 2019/20 campaign kicked off at the beginning of August.

“We never asked for a postponement, all we asked for was common sense,” he said. “I think there will be a full card.

“I don’t think there are any available dates for them to cancel the games on. If this was going to happen it should have happened in planning for the season. The SPFL are supposed to have them done.”

Clarke continued: “Maybe when they appointed me they thought we were coming out of the group section! But it didn’t quite work out that way.

“Listen, it is not for me to get involved in that. My job is to deal with what I have got to deal with. I will just deal with what I have to deal with. I will find a way to make it work.

“I will make sure the players are prepared properly and know what they are up against in the first game. If we get through the first game we will have to be ready to go against our next opponents and feed that into them in the five days between the two games.”

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Clarke is confident the Premiership clubs are keen for Scotland to reach their first tournament finals since France ’98.

“I think everybody wants Scotland to qualify,” he said. “Listen, the clubs will always look after their own interests. That is the nature of football, that is what they do. Everybody looks after themselves a little bit. But I think for this one it would be a national boost for Scottish football if the national team is involved in Euro 2020. I am sure everyone is onside.”