Steve Clarke insists he ‘expected’ Scotland to break through as they squandered chance after chance before eventually beating Ukraine 3-0 at Hampden Park.
After a goalless first half in the Nations League Group B1 match, striker Che Adams and midfielder Stuart Armstrong missed good chances to put the Scots ahead and some frustration may have to be felt in the stands.
However, in the 70th minute skipper John McGinn fired in a drive before substitute striker Lyndon Dykes twice headed in from the corners of fellow substitute Ryan Fraser.
Scotland moved two points clear of the visitors at the top of the table ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s visit on Saturday, which precedes the final game against Ukraine in Poland next week.
On missed chances, Clarke said: “When you’re on the sidelines and you’re watching and your team is creating chances, you know your team has good forward momentum, you’re just waiting.
“You actually expect one of them to come in because you create so many good chances that you believe in your players and trust them to score the goal and that’s what happened.
“It was a good performance and we are really happy with it. Congratulations to the players, we give them a lot of information in a short time, most of it boring.
“Field visits, meetings in the boardroom, but we took it into account, executed well what we wanted to do.
“It was a good game. We dominated the second half and the first goal was always going to be crucial.
“Now we have to go and reset and prepare to go again on Saturday.
“We are resting and recuperating and preparing for a tough game against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.
“Obviously we went there in the summer and we didn’t do ourselves justice (0-3 loss) and we want to do ourselves justice on Saturday.”
Clarke admitted Everton right-back Nathan Patterson’s first-half injury – which saw him taken away on a stretcher – “doesn’t look like a good one”, before adding: “Fingers crossed , it’s not so bad.”
The Scottish boss was delighted with the reaction from Dykes and Fraser after admitting neither were the happiest to start on the bench.
He said: “It was good for the two substitutes Ryan and Lyndon to come off the bench and improve the score.
“It’s credit to the players. I would say they probably both had the bump with the head coach that they didn’t start the game, but that’s what you want, you want a hungry group.