STEVEN Reid feels Scotland can learn something from the Republic of Ireland when it comes to having a happy camp at international level, writes Stewart Fisher, even though he was present at one of the most infamous World Cup bust-ups of all time.

Reid was a late call-up to Mick McCarthy’s squad for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, where preparations were thrown into turmoil when star man Roy Keane walked out on his country after a blazing row with McCarthy in protest at conditions at the team’s holding camp in Saipan. Who knows what might have happened had their talisman remained, but at least the Republic made it out of the group that year.

“Was the Republic a happy camp in 2002? Er ... for most of it!” said Reid. “Obviously now and then there is an exception! It is a long time away, that trip ended up being six weeks and you are living in each other’s pockets the whole time so it does need to be a happy place. But on the whole that was a major part of being involved with the Ireland set up at the time, the relationship between the players.

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“We enjoyed a little bit of a night out as well, a beer, that was part of that squad, although times have changed now. But hopefully that can be the same here, a place where everybody looks forward to meeting up. In fact, back when I was playing for Ireland, players used to meet up a day earlier, just to get together!

“Maybe they just wanted a night out! No, they wanted to get together, see each other and look forward to the week’s training. When you’ve not got a huge pool of players, making sure you get the ones you do have is going to be essential to success.”

While opportunities to work on the training ground with the players are limited, Reid is convinced that the patterns of international football will be suitable to Clarke. “You don’t get a lot of time with the players, so training needs to be good, it needs to be organised,” said Reid. “It needs to be nice and sharp. For me, working alongside Steve and seeing how he works, hopefully that is exactly what it is going to be.

“He has worked with Mourinho, been at massive clubs. And just has a really good way about him.

“There is the organisation for a start - the detail. He just has the ability to get the best out of players, and that is me working under him as a player and working alongside him. If a cone is a couple of inches out of place he will wander out and shift it back a couple of inches.”