Scotland have Dropped Kenny McLean to their European Championship qualifier against Russia in Moscow on Thursday.
After failing to overcome a slight injury problem, the midfielder has returned.
Manager Steve Clarke, who lost McLeans Norwich team-mate Grant Hanley and Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack at the weekend, said:Its always disappointing when you lose players in the squad and overnight we have lost Kenny McLean too.
It is another blow but a excellent opportunity for someone else. Its a part and parcel of global football.
Clarke, who is also lacking Scott McTominay through suspension, added:Its always disappointing to get rid of a participant so late in this week.
When Kenny reported, he had a small niggle – it is not correct for me to state what it is, that is for his team to work out – were all pretty convinced that Kenny would create it, but the previous 24 hours it didnt get any better, it really got somewhat worse.
We made the choice to allow Kenny to go back to Norwich.
The Scotland manager has given up with Scotland, on automatic qualification nine things off second-placed Russia.
Clarke is building for the play-offs in March but he wont sacrifice the potential to acquire results to experiment.
No free strikes, Clarke said in the Luzhniki Stadium. I want to pick up 12 points from the remaining four games. Obviously its a one in Russia but theres no strikes that are free.
We owe it to the thousand or so Tartan Army fans which are coming as well to wear a fantastic performance and hopefully go away with three things.
Every match you go into you want to accomplish the maximum, which can be three factors. I want a good performance level, I want a performance level in the four games.
My view is that if your operation level is great enough, then the things will follow
What this means:
Steve Clarke has admitted the play-offs are the only reasonable route to Euro 2020 and that Scotland will not meet the requirements via this group. With four matches to go, Clarke needs to mould a team capable of playing, and moving into the play-offs with assurance, of creating an understanding. Russia is the next and toughest of those four matches. The head coach is currently demanding victories and says not one of the matches will be liberated strikes.
Players, suspensions and injuries asking to be left from his squad has hampered his efforts to try and build a consistent manner of selecting and playing teams. Conceding nine goals in the few matches, despite two of the games being against Belgium, reveals Clarke needs to boost his negative defensively. The team have also scored once in those three matches and are not providing enough of a goal threat.
Scotland have players in the squad acting due to their clubs and playing at the maximum level in England – transferring that to the international scene is proving hard just now. Have the chance to stake a claim for the playoffs in March. Scotland are under pressure to be eligible given also a meeting with England is on the cards in the finals along with Hampden Park is a sponsor venue if both qualify.
Artem Dzyuba is Russias captain and threat. He could have felt and even also scored the equaliser in Hampden. The large striker is going to be a couple for the Scotland defence. Whoever is tasked with marking him will have a game.
Scotland return to Hampden for a match on Sunday – . You can fit all 33,000 residents of the country inside Hampden and have 19,000 spare seats. A lacklustre 2-0 triumph in March at Serravalle has been Alex McLeishs last game in charge and did nothing to build confidence or momentum. There will be a expectancy and urge to win and win big.
Russia vs Scotland is live on Sky Sports Football on Thursday; kick-off 7.45pm
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