Scotland duo told to forget 'embarrassing defeats' as fitness update offered for Rangers star
Steven Reid is confident Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack will be available for selection for Thursday’s crucial Euro 2020 semi-final play-off match with Israel as he urged Andy Robertson and Scott McTominay to forget embarrassing defeats for their clubs.
Jack has joined up with the squad but only eight players trained at Oriam due to the number involved in games on Sunday. The Rangers midfielder played just over an hour for his side in the 2-0 win over Ross County and looks to be over a calf injury sustained against Dundee United last month.
Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard has already warned Scotland manager Steve Clarke to treat the player with “common sense”. There was an issue last year when Gerrard accused Clarke and his coaching team of running Jack into the ground before a game against Belgium and just after a hard-fought clash with Celtic.
Gerrard is keen to be able to call on Jack’s services in another Old Firm clash a week on Saturday. Scotland have three games to play before then, including Thursday’s crucial play-off tie.
“He (Jack) was part of a group that met up later on yesterday, having played on Sunday,” reported Reid. “As far as we’re aware he’s all good. He played a little bit in the week and the 65 on Sunday, so it’s all good.”
Reid also revealed that former Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna will be monitored after missing his new club Nottingham Forest’s latest defeat against Bristol City on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Scotland assistant coach is sure Robertson and McTominay will put to one side the memories of two historic defeats with their clubs on Sunday to star for Scotland.
It is not very often a player from Liverpool and one from Manchester United will turn up for international duty on the back of a loss by a five goal-margin.
Robertson’s Liverpool were thrashed 7-2 by Aston Villa, for whom John McGinn scored one of the goals, while McTominay came on at half-time as Manchester United lost 6-1 at home to Spurs. It was Liverpool’s heaviest defeat in 57 years and the Old Trafford club’s equal worst Premier League reversal.
Now the pair must try to focus on their international commitments. Helping re-train their thoughts is Scotland’s biggest match in years against Israel as they seek to qualify for next summer’s Euro 2020 tournament, with some games taking place at Hampden Park.
“The last few weeks in general have been incredible, with some of the scorelines and results. I’ve never witnessed or seen anything like it. It’s just one of those bizarre weekends where the results are crazy. I’m sure once they come up and we all get together, it’ll be Scotland mode and looking forward to the three games we’ve got coming up.
“For me personally, it was easy to banish them. When I’ve been involved in international games as a player, you’ve put to bed your club form and results as soon as you head into camp. Luckily for those boys it’s games that are coming thick and fast, which is what you want after results like that.”