STEVE Clarke last night insisted Scotland will improve before their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final next month after watching his side held to a 1-1 draw by Israel in their opening Nations League game.

A second-half Eran Zahavi strike for the visitors cancelled out a first-half Ryan Christie penalty at an empty Hampden and meant the national team only picked up a point from the Group B2 match.

The home side, playing for the first time since last November, only managed a single shot on target from open play during the course of the 90 minutes.

However, Clarke, who switched to a three man defence to get Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson into his starting line-up, feels his men, who take on the same opponents in the play-off next month, will benefit greatly from the run-out.

“We were reasonably pleased,” he said. “There was obviously a slight tweak to the system and we only had three days training to work on it. The lads took a lot on board.

“There were some good things, some bad things obviously. It was disappointing to lose the goal in the second-half when I thought we had reasonable control of the game defensively.

“There was maybe not enough going forward at that stage in the game, but towards the end of the game we pushed on again and Stuart (Armstrong) had a chance near the end that could maybe have nicked it for us. There were some good things and some bad things.”

Clarke added: “I was just looking to give us another option and a different way to play at certain times against certain teams. It just seemed like a good game to try it.

“Obviously, Kieran had come back in and I wanted to see Kieran and Andy playing. Kieran has been playing very well in that position and I thought he acquitted himself really well tonight as well along with Scott McKenna and Scott McTominay. I thought the back three were decent.”

Clarke handed QPR striker Lyndon Dykes his debut up front and was impressed with how the 6ft 2in forward played in his first international match.

“I thought he was excellent,” he said. “He is a strong boy, he gives us a good option. We need to look, especially in the second-half of the game, to get a little more support forward to Lyndon a little bit earlier. But that is something we can work on and it will improve.”

Asked what bearing he thought the match will have on the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final, Clarke said: “I think we have both had a little look at each other. We played a strong team, they played a strong team. I think everyone was hoping for the three points tonight. It is only a point.

“We will have some video, we will have some idea of some problems they can cause us. Likewise, they will have some ideas of problems that we can cause them. It should be an interesting game next month.”