Scott Brown has fired a warning to Newcastle duo Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento, insisting they will not just walk into the current Scotland set-up under Steve Clarke.

Both players have been linked with an international switch to Hampden alongside their Magpie teammates Harvey Barnes and Elliot Anderson.

All four players are yet to make a decision on whether they want to play for Scotland going forward and Brown believes they may well struggle to get into the team.

He told “If Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento get the opportunity to switch allegiances from England to Scotland, by all means come and try to fight your way into the squad.

“However, it would be a hard decision for Steve Clarke as well if they want to come and try and be a part of Scotland instead of England – they’ve got to understand that the current group of players got Scotland to Germany and to Euro 2024, so Steve needs to make sure that those players are given the opportunity to play for Scotland as well too.

“It’s a difficult one because you want to be working with the best possible squad that you can, and Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento are both fantastic players.

"But we also don’t know if they definitely want to switch from England to Scotland yet. As it stands, it’s all hearsay at this moment in time, but it would definitely be a difficult decision for Steve as to whether to pick them or not.”

Brown was delighted to see Scotland qualify for Euro 2024 with games to spare and he feels the squad under the leadership of Steve Clarke is going from strength to strength.

He continued: “Steve’s done a brilliant job. The lads have responded really well to the way he wants to play. He did a really good job when he was at Kilmarnock as well – his teams are always very well organised and well drilled.

"I’m delighted for all the players and backroom staff – they’ve all come together and they look like a proper, proper team now. They’ve got great energy throughout the pitch and a brilliant squad. I think the hardest thing for Steve now is going to be picking the 23 player who will go to Germany for the Euros next year!

“It was a good lesson for them to play against the likes of England and France in recent friendlies, to be perfectly honest. We could end up with a team like Germany in our group, so you want to be able to play against the best teams in the world to see where you are.

"I’m sure Steve has sat down after they’ve played them and assessed what maybe went wrong but what also went well. Let’s not forget we were away to Spain and could have been 1-0 up after 75 minutes, if it wasn’t for VAR finding something when Scott McTominay scored, but in the end we went down and lost by two goals.

“That result against Spain was a shame. I’d have liked to have seen what would have happened if we had held on in the last 15 or 20 minutes in terms of where we’d finish in the group. It would have given the fans a sense of belief and excitement, but I still feel the squad is in a good place going into next summer.”

Brown also hailed the role of Scott McTominay during the qualifiers with the Manchester United midfielder bagging a number of key goals both at Hampden Park and away from home.

He explained: “He's got a great drive and great desire to get in the box, create chances and score goals.

“Before the Norway game he’d scored seven goals in seven games, which is fantastic for a midfielder. He played in the back three at the start of the campaign too, so he can contribute to the side in any position, which is fantastic for Scotland and for Steve as well.

“I really like him in the middle of the park – I think he’s got fantastic energy and he gets after people and causes them problems. He can play as a box-to-box player too – he wants to do his hard work defending, but he also wants to go and score a goal. The energy that he has is unbelievable, as is his contribution for his club and country.”

On the recent absence of captain Andy Robertson and key man Kieran Tierney, Brown added: “I love Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney on that left side.

“They work great together and it’s good competition. If you noticed at the start of qualification, most of our goals were coming from that left hand side because of their energy and quality with deliveries.

“They’re also very secure behind the ball as well – if you look at the past two games, we’ve conceded five goals with those players missing, so they’re a huge miss to Scotland and Roberton is a huge miss for Liverpool as well.”