Steve Clarke admits he’s delighted Scott McKenna is now getting regular game time after a difficult spell at Nottingham Forest.

The 27-year-old moved from the Premier League outfit to FC Copenhagen in January.

The former Aberdeen man was out of favour under Nuno Espirito Santo at the City Ground. With his contract due to expire this summer, he took up the option to go to Denmark on loan until the end of the season.

Not only will this benefit him with his chances of securing a decent move in the summer, but it will keep his hopes of playing for Scotland at this summer’s European Championships alive.

McKenna made just six appearances during the first half of the season, with five of those in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup. The defender, who has 33 Scotland caps to his name, has already played six times for Copenhagen since his move.

That’s something that pleases the national team head coach no-end, as he visited him while he got a taste of Champions League football against the reigning champions of Europe.

“It’s good,” the 60-year-old said. “I remember in the autumn games I was playing Scott and he wasn’t getting a game at Forest. I was actually playing him to try and keep him involved, keep him moving.

“It was nice that he got the move. I went to see him last week, I went to the Etihad to watch Scott play against Manchester City.

“I thought he did well. Plays in a good team. Copenhagen are starting to move up the Danish league as you get towards the business end of the season.

“A good move for Scott and I am pleased that he’s playing week in, week.”

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Jack Hendry hasn’t had the same issue in terms of a lack of game time in Saudi Arabia, however, it is proving challenging to keep up with his progress at Al-Ettifaq.

Clarke joked that his budget doesn’t stretch to flying out to watch the centre-back in the Middle East, but he admitted it is tough to gauge what level he’s playing at.

He said: “I’ve only seen him on TV. The budget doesn’t stretch to flying all the way to Saudi Arabia to watch Jack, unfortunately. Listen, he’s playing in a league that’s quite difficult to gauge the level.

“I thought he did okay in the November games. Obviously, it’s three months further down the line, so a big test for Jack as well.

“He will get game time, let’s see where his level is at. Hopefully, it’s at the level it’s always been when he’s played for his country.”

Derek McInnes was recently asked about the prospect of Danny Armstrong being a wildcard pick for the Euros.

The Killie boss highlighted that the winger is also eligible for the Republic of Ireland while putting forward Stuart Findlay and Lewis Mayo as potential defensive candidates should Clarke require reinforcements.

Clarke, whose success at Rugby Park earned him the Scotland job, tends to be loyal to the core group of players who have brought success to the team. So, it’s no surprise that he highlighted the difficulties for any player to break into the squad.

“They have to keep playing as well as they’re playing for Kilmarnock,” he said. “Derek has done a great job there. He’s got Kilmarnock back in the top six, back playing well, a good strong side. His players are doing well for him. They have to keep doing that.

“I always say this group of players have done fantastic for their country so, yeah we’re always looking to try and improve it, but it’s difficult to get into that squad.”