Scotland 'not short of issues' as Steve Clarke prepares for Ukraine

Injury and suspension have given Clarke a selection headache for the Nations League decider.

Steve Clarke admits he has plenty of issues to contend with but says Scotland will be ready to challenge Ukraine in the Nations League decider.

Having already named a squad that was missing Andy Robertson, Grant Hanley, Liam Cooper and John Souttar, the manager has seen Nathan Patterson, Kieran Tierney and Scott McKenna all injured even as Scotland recorded wins over Ukraine and Republic of Ireland.

Scott McTominay has picked up a suspension and, ahead of a match in Krakow where Scotland need just a point to stay ahead of Ukraine and win the group, a sickness bug has forced Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams to miss training.

Though Adams has since spoken to the media and said he feels fine, Clarke says the “virus” is something else he has to contend with as he picks a team.

“We have that to worry about, so we are not short of issues and we are also not short of determination to go there and finish the job,” Clarke said.

“You don’t want to lose anyone from the squad. Kieran and Scott are two good players playing to the best of their abilities. Injuries are sent to test you, it is now a chance for someone else.

“As I say, we have a sickness bug in the camp, maybe I will wake up tomorrow morning and have a different set of problems, I don’t know.

“But just deal with it. You are always being asked questions, you are always being tested but I am sure we will do enough to pass the test.”

The manager has called up Hearts duo Stephen Kingsley and Barrie McKay, and also had encouraging news on Aaron Hickey, who was substituted against Ireland with a hamstring issue.

“Aaron felt a bit tight in the game and I knew I had Tony Ralston on the bench who could do a good job for us.

“Aaron trained this morning, he seems to be OK so I have a good choice to make between Tony Ralston and Aaron.”

Celtic’s Greg Taylor looks most likely to replace Kieran Tierney on the left and as his former club manager at Rugby Park, Clarke has full faith in the player.

“Greg’s determination to do well was apparent to me as soon as I walked in the door at Kilmarnock,” he said. I know he wants to get better.

“He has moved to a bigger club, he has handled the expectation and pressure of playing at that bigger club, any time I have asked him to perform for the national team he has done very well.

“So no worries about Greg and you want that all over the pitch. Young Josh Doig has come in and trained very well, looks good, Stephen Kingsley has covered that position as well, Kenny McLean has played there three or four times for Norwich this season, so we are well covered.

“It is a case of dealing with what the fates have thrown at us and being determined to finish the job.”

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