STEVE Clarke last night predicted the goals will come for Scotland – and insisted they can go into their opening Qatar 2022 qualifiers in March with confidence.

The national team failed to finish first in their Nations League section and secure a potential World Cup play-off place this week despite dominating their last two games.

An inability to capitalise on their chances against Slovakia in Trnava on Sunday afternoon and Israel in Netanya on Wednesday night saw them suffer back-to-back 1-0 defeats.

The Czech Republic won their Group B2 matches with Israel and Slovakia in Plzen to secure top spot and win promotion to League A.

Scotland have only scored four goals from open play in the eight games they have been involved in during the 2020/21 campaign.

However, Clarke, whose team qualified for their first major tournament in 23 years last week when they beat Serbia on penalties in the Euro 2020 play-off final, is far from despondent.

He believes Oliver Burke, Lyndon Dykes, Leigh Griffiths and Oliver McBurnie will have benefitted greatly from their involvement in this season’s international fixtures.

And he fully expects his men to show far greater ruthlessness up front when they get their bid to reach Qatar 2022 underway next year.

“It’s all about gaining experience, maybe relaxing a little bit more in the final third,” he said. “I think we had much better chances than Israel, and it was similar in Slovakia.

“We are creating opportunities, we had 30-odd shots on goal in two games. We are getting there.

“It is a learning process and the education of the players will continue. They’ll realise it’s so important to get the goal that puts you in front.

“It’s always difficult to chase the game at this level, you maybe snatch at chances a little bit, it doesn’t come quite as fluid.”

Clarke added: “But I’m looking at the positivity. The effort and endeavour we saw from the players over the three games was there, it was just a bit of quality and execution in the final third.

“The more chances we give ourselves to score goals – I believe they will come. The picture can change a lot in five months.”