Scott Gemmill insists Ben Doak is improving all the time after his recent start for Liverpool in the Europa League.

The 17-year-old has once again been selected for the Scotland Under-21s ahead of their Euro 2023 qualifiers against Hungary and Malta.

And Gemmill feels the forward has developed his game significantly over the last couple of months.

He said: “I did see a difference when he was with us the last month in Spain, and he is more confident than ever, and he is stronger than ever and faster than ever.

“His mentality is also changing and maturing, and he has added to the group on and off the pitch. 

“His performance was very impressive, and he is becoming a leader off the pitch even though he is younger, and he sets an example every day in training. 

“The level of the training is very high, but there is no question Ben is definitely maturing very fast and you can tell he is obviously training and playing every day with really good players, so it is really exciting to see his development.”

Doak has made three appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side so far this campaign, after completing a full pre-season with the first team, and attention has now turned to when he will receive a cap from Steve Clarke.

The Scotland boss has previously stated he is keeping an eye on the attacker, describing him as an “exciting talent”.

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And Gemmill feels the 60-year-old will give Doak an opportunity when he is ready.

“It is obviously Steve and his staff’s decision,” he continued. “We are all in agreement that Ben will play for Scotland, and it is up to Steve when that moment is. 

“Whether that is in the next international window or not is up to Steve and his staff. Everyone knows Ben will play for Scotland it is just up to the manager to pick the right moment and we have to trust him. 

“He has shown that he has gotten that decision right in the past with people like Nathan [Patterson], Billy [Gilmour], Aaron Hickey and Lewis Ferguson. 

“I think we are all in agreement it is just about picking the right moment and Steve and his staff will do that.”

Doak has now been part of the U21s setup for over a year, making his debut when he was just 16, and Gemmill does not feel like his latest call-up prevents him from featuring for the senior team in the next international window.

Scotland face Spain in a crucial Euro 2024 qualifier before travelling to France to take on Didier Deschamps’ side in a friendly.

And the 52-year-old compared the situation to that of other recently capped young players.

“Any of the players could be called up to full squad,” he stated. “If you look at the way Steve has liked to do it over the last couple of years, he has always allowed the players to be named for the U21s. 

“He wants the U21s to be competitive and have the experience but at the same time he has access to the players whenever he wants them, and he is very comfortable with that. It is the same for all of them.” 

Gemmill’s side will play both of their upcoming matches at Fir Park, and the former Nottingham Forrest player hopes there will be a good crowd in attendance.

He pointed to the full house during the opening group stage game against Spain at the Estadio de La Victoria as a great learning curve for the players and would love for another capacity crowd in Lanarkshire.

He said: “It adds to the experience for the players, and playing in front of those crowds of those crowds is exactly what they need.

“It is a great opportunity to come and see the best young players in Scotland and we are very confident that those young players can handle playing in front of those crowds and I would encourage the fans to come along because it is a great experience to come and see them at this stage in their careers”.