STEVE Clarke believes Scotland’s opening Qatar 2022 qualifiers have set them up nicely for the September triple header that will make or break their bid to reach the next World Cup finals.

Clarke's men defeated the Faroe Islands 4-0 at Hampden last night thanks to a John McGinn double and second-half goals from Che Adams – his first at international level – and Ryan Fraser.

The national team leapfrogged Austria, who were thrashed 4-0 at home by Group F top seeds Denmark, into second spot in their section after three games.  

The former Kilmarnock manager, whose side drew with Austria at home and Israel away in their opening two qualifiers last week, knows that far tougher challenges lie ahead.

However, the 57-year-old was encouraged by much of what he witnessed and is positive that his team will be well placed to build on the progress they have made when the Qatar 2022 campaign resumes after the Euro 2020 qualifiers in the summer.

“It was a good performance,” he said. “I expected it, I have to be honest. We are improving as a team. If we weren’t tonight would have been a tough night. 

“The Faroes are good, organised and disciplined and they made it difficult for us. But we got in front early and we did not panic. We just kept playing and eventually the second third and fourth goals came, which made it a good scoreline.

“It was a really good first goal, well worked and well finished by John McGinn. It gave us a little platform in the game, but I felt we did not fully relax until we got the second.”

Clarke continued “Then we played some good stuff after that and got four goals, which does our goal difference good.

“Any striker wants to score goals and it was good for Che to get off the mark. His combination play was decent and I felt him and Lyndon (Dykes) were a threat. It was good for Che to get his goal.

“I think fans would have got a little glimpse of him in the first two games and he showed his quality.

“He showed good tenacity in forward areas and a little bit of skill. Good skill for the goal and a great finish, it’s nice for a striker to get off the mark.

“(Kieran) Tierney is a natural getting forward and he got in a delivery for two of the goals and Andy (Robertson) got a good assist too. It worked well down the left and we were nice and solid down the right. I was pleased.

“It’s been a good week, not a great week. We are second place, we have five points, and it will be a tough week in September away to Austria and away to Denmark with Moldova at home in between.

“It will be a pivotal period in the group, but one we can look forward to.

“Let’s wait and see what happens. I keep saying five months, it’s five months until the qualifying games in September and a lot can change in five months. We might have a fantastic Euros and go over on a real high.”

Clarke admitted he will now turn his attentions to the Euro 2020 finals this summer – and matches against the Czech Republic, England and Croatia.

“First thing I do is I go home and spend Easter weekend with my children and grandchildren who I have not seen since Christmas,” he said.

“Towards the middle of next week I’ll start planning for the Euros. There’s lots of work to do but I look forward to it.”