STEVE CLARKE is confident the analytical eye of Austin MacPhee can help Scotland find the marginal gains needed to strive for success.

The former Hearts manager has left his position with Northern Ireland to take up a place on Clarke's staff as part of a Hampden reshuffle in the aftermath of the European Championships.

MacPhee will join up with the national squad for the first time when Scotland face Denmark, Moldova and Austria in three huge World Cup qualifiers in September.

The 41-year-old - a key part of Northern Ireland's rise in recent seasons - started a new role as a set-piece coach with Aston Villa earlier this month and Clarke is enthused at the prospect of having him on board with Scotland.

“He brings himself," Clarke said when asked what MacPhee will bring to the national setup. "He is different, he is a good character.

"I have known him since I came up to Scotland, when he was a club manager I always bumped into him.

“I have spent a little bit of time with him, we have spoken to each other a few times over the years.

“He is different to me. He is more data based, he is more analytical. At clubs he mixed the analytical side of it with coaching.

“He must have looked at it and decided to specialise a bit with set plays which is how the ended up with the Brentford, Midtjylland connection and did well there.

“Stats wise, I do like to mix things up. I think it is an area where of you want to improve two or three points in your group section, set plays can do it.

“Then maybe those two or three points we improve take us from third place to second place or from second place to first place.

"So it is something I want to try and now I have got the opportunity to do it."