SCOTLAND assistant John Carver has explained why manager Steve Clarke will name a 28 man squad for the Euro 2024 warm-up matches against Gibraltar and Finland as he confirmed that Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson have both been ruled out of the finals. 

The national team manager will announce which players he has selected for the friendly internationals in Faro on Monday, June 3, and Glasgow on Friday, June 7, at Hampden tomorrow. 

Organisers UEFA last month increased the number of players who the 24 participating countries can take to the finals in Germany from 23 to 26 - as was the case at Euro 2020.

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But Clarke will initially select 28 players because he is keen to assess the fitness of squad members who have been sidelined with injuries or have not had much game time in recent weeks. He has until 11pm on Friday, June 7, to submit his final Euro 2024 squad. 

It had been hoped that Brentford full-back Hickey, who has not played since October due to a hamstring injury, and Everton defender Nathan Paterson, who underwent an operation last month, could recover in time to feature in the Group A matches against Germany, Switzerland and Hungary. However, Carver stated the duo would both miss out.  

"We are now going to take it up to 28," he said at a media event in Manchester to promote the football coaching programme which has been launched by digital bank Chase. 

"The deadline to name the final squad is June 7 so we have had a think about it and we think it is worthwhile bringing in 28 because we have got a number of players we need to have a look at. 

The Herald: "We have got all the data on everybody, how many minutes they have been playing, where they are in their fitness. So I think it is worth bringing them in to camp. 

"Then we can actually see them day to day and then we have obviously got the two games as well. So we can look at them real closely before Steve eventually finally names the 26.”

Carver admitted he was bitterly disappointed that Hickey, Paterson and Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson had all been ruled out of Euro 2024 - but expressed confidence the trio will grace the finals of a major tournament on many occasions in the future. 

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"Let’s just touch on the three lads in particular, Fergie, Patto and Aaron, who have serious injuries and are out for a period of time," he said. "We knew they were going to be out and they have been excellent."

"They have played a big part and I am devastated they are not going to be part of it, but they are such a young group of players they are going to have Euros in the future to attack. 

"So there is nothing we can do. We cannot affect that. They got injured at their clubs and we can’t affect it. But we have to be as positive as we can about what we do have and how are we are going to attack the Euros. 

"It is no good thinking what could have been and what we could have had it is about what we’ve got and what we’re going to do."