IT is one of the sport’s little oddities that people often speak about the football family – usually when clubs and their fans are being asked to come together for a good cause.

Unfortunately, I think the Scottish football family is more divided than ever. The national sport has gone all Game Of Thrones, frankly.

The detestation shown by some fans for other clubs is in hate crime territory, the abuse of referees has never been worse and let’s not even think about the activities of anonymous online trolls. And of course, everybody but everybody disparages the Scottish Football Association.

Yet there are times when all of us in the Scottish football “family” really need to come together, and this is one of them.

On Monday, the SFA appointed Steve Clarke to be the manager of our men’s national football team. It was a no-brainer, given what Clarke has achieved at Kilmarnock FC – a minor miracle, if you ask me, and one that thoroughly merited his being voted Manager of the Year.

Alex McLeish left the job because he and the SFA knew he had lost the support of the fans more than anything, but at least Big Eck got us into the play-offs for Euro 2020 after winning the Nations League group, where we will play Finland in the semi-final, and for that we must thank him.

Yet Clarke has been left a mountainous task if Scotland are to qualify outright from Group I of the Euro 2020 qualifying tournament proper. To have taken just three points from our first two matches against the supposed diddy teams of Kazakhstan and San Marino is a poor start, but Clarke now has a chance to get Scotland back on track with our next two games against Cyprus at Hampden Park and the group favourites Belgium in Brussels.

If Scotland cannot beat Cyprus then, frankly, we don’t deserve to be qualifying from the group. Three points is just a necessity.

Belgium are officially ranked the world’s best team, some 43 places ahead of Scotland, with a truly talented group of players. We saw what they did to Scotland last September, and it could have been a bigger scoreline than 0-4.

If Clarke’s Scotland can somehow get any sort of result in Belgium it would be a colossal achievement, but realistically we must hope that the manager’s avowed organisational skills will just keep the score down.

I noted Clarke had been given a three-year contract, basically to take us through to the 2022 World Cup, and while the Tartan Army have been generally enthused by his appointment and are hoping for rapid improvement, I think we all need to take a longer-term view of what lies ahead.

By all means let’s hope for quick results, but Clarke might be better building a team to get us through the qualifying play-offs next March. Above all, the Scottish football family must get behind the new manager and give him and his squad all our support as they attempt the barely possible in Group I.

Mentioning family, I hope the planned minute’s applause for Hearts fan Alex Currie in the 39th minute of the Scottish Cup Final tomorrow will be observed by everyone. He was a young family man who died of a stroke at the age of just 39 while watching his son play football. I know a very small minority of Hearts fans disgraced themselves during the recent Billy McNeill tribute applause, but I hope Celtic fans will show themselves to be better than that and respect what the Hearts fans are doing – even better, join in, for Alex was a genuine football man.

Nor can I miss out on mentioning one of the stalwarts of the Scottish Borders football family, Campbell Forsyth, who is being honoured with a testimonial by his club Linton Hotspur on Sunday at the New Moor Road ground in West Linton.

The closing event of Linton Hotspur’s 10th-anniversary season, kick-off in the match between the Hotspur Select and the Legends Select XI will be at 2pm, and it will be an appropriate way to mark the unstinting service given to the club by Campbell, who was instrumental in re-establishing Linton Hotspur in 2008.

The Forsyth family was devastated by the loss of Campbell’s mother Fiona late last year and he has asked that the money raised by the match go towards Pancreatic Cancer UK and the Edinburgh Maggie’s Centre. I happen to know that the Scottish football family is indeed rallying round to support the event on Sunday, and without giving too much away, it would be worth any football fan’s while to be at the game in West Linton.

You always look for the best in a family, and Campbell Forsyth is one of the best, as was Alex Currie. Now let’s just hope that Steve Clarke can be the leader the Scottish football family needs.