Billy Gilmour: Scotland midfielder tests positive for Covid-19 – BBC Sport

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Billy Gilmour’s enforced absence provides “a chance for someone else to come in and make themselves a national hero”, says Scotland boss Steve Clarke.

The 20-year-old has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Tuesday’s crucial Euro 2020 match with Croatia.

The Chelsea midfielder was a standout as Steve Clarke’s side drew 0-0 with England on Friday on his first start.

There are no close contacts identified from within the camp, with 25 players fit to face Croatia.

However, England have chosen to omit Gilmour’s club-mates Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell from their game with the Czech Republic after the pair interacted with Gilmour at Wembley.

Scotland and Croatia must win at Hampden to have hope of progression from Group D. Both sides have a point after two matches while England and the Czech Republic are three points better off and are both guaranteed places in the last 16.

“Obviously it’s a blow for us in terms of the team,” said Clarke, who confirmed that Gilmour was “upset” but asymptomatic. “Billy would have started now he won’t, so it’s a chance for someone else to come in and make themselves a national hero.

“Today’s training was a little bit disrupted but the bulk of the work has already been done. The players know exactly what they need to do once they get out on the pitch.

“Hopefully, we will keep on improving. If we reach the same performance levels from the other night at Wembley, I think we will be very competitive.”

If Clarke’s side did advance, Gilmour, 20, would also be ruled out of playing in the last-16 round.

Defender Liam Cooper said the squad was “gutted for Billy”, stressing that “it gives us just that bit more motivation to get the job done and do him proud”.

The Leeds captain added: “It was a shock to us. We stuck to the protocols and then this comes up.

“We just listen to the medical advice. Doc (John) MacLean has been clear and brilliant with us since day one. We have taken precautions around the training camp.

“We are gutted, but we have got to move on. We have a massive game and one we need to win, and that’s where all our focus lies now.”

A statement read: “The Scottish FA can confirm that a member of the Scotland national team playing squad, Billy Gilmour, has tested positive for Covid-19.

“Having liaised with Public Health England (PHE) since the positive test was recorded, Billy will now self-isolate for 10 days and therefore miss tomorrow’s Uefa Euro 2020 Group D match against Croatia at Hampden.”

However, PHE later said there had been no detailed discussions with the SFA.

Scotland squad member John Fleck tested positive for coronavirus before the tournament and missed the 2-2 friendly draw with the Netherlands, along with six players left out as a precaution.

Those six players returned in time for the 1-0 friendly win over Luxembourg and Fleck was available for Scotland’s 2-0 defeat by the Czechs and the draw with England.

‘He makes them better, but there are other players’

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 Live

He has only played one game, he played very well and is a fine player, but there is a bit of perspective needed

Certainly, Scotland look much better with Gilmour in the team – he is an exceptional player. He would have been starting the game against Croatia so it is a blow, but Scotland got here and hadn’t used Billy.

He makes them better, but there are other players. It may well mean Scott McTominay might have to come out of the back line and go into midfield.

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