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JACK POSER FOR CLARKE

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STEVE CLARKE admits he could have a major selection headache when Scott McTominay and Kenny McLean return from injury for the Euro 2020 Play-Off Finals in March.

Scotland will lean their opponents in tomorrow’s draw and Old Firm double-act Callum McGregor and Ryan Jack staked their claim ahead of the Manchester United and Norwich City aces as they dovetailed in midfield in the wins over Cyprus in Nicosia (2-1) and Kazakhstan at Hampden (3-1) in the past five days.

Clarke, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I thought the balance in midfield in both games with Ryan and Callum was really good. I’m not really surprised with Ryan because I have obviously seen him up close when I was manager of Kilmarnock. I knew the qualities that he had.

“The European experience that he’s getting playing with his club will also stand him in good stead. Listen, he has done himself a power of good in the two games.”

CRACKER, JACK…Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack has impressed for Scotland.

Asked if Jack would retain his place for the play-offs next year when McTominay and McLean return to the squad, the Scots boss answered: “I don’t know because it’s four months away and I don’t know who we’ll have, I don’t know who will be fit.

“That is probably one to speculate on a little bit when we get to March. But that will be a nice choice to have. As a manager, I want as many difficult choices as I can get.”

Celtic anchorman McGregor is a key component in the international line-up and was handed the captain’s armband in the victory over Kazakhstan when Steven Naismith was replaced in the 77th minute.

The Rangers star has adopted the role of Scott Brown, the Hoops’ player’s club team-mate, as they kept the national side ticking over in the games that took the nation’s winning sequence to three.

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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