STEVE Clarke has stressed that Rangers goalkeeper Robby McCrorie needs to play regular first team matches to force his way into the Scotland squad for the Euro 2024 finals after calling him up for the qualifiers against Georgia and Norway.

Norwich City player Angus Gunn has been ruled out of the Group A double header by a leg injury and either Zander Clark of Hearts or Liam Kelly of Motherwell will be promoted to the starting line-up in Tbilisi a week today.

However, Clarke has called McCrorie up once again and is hoping the 25-year-old, who has impressed at Scotland Under-21 level in the past, can provide quality back-up to his countrymen in the specialist position in both matches.

The former Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United assistant, though, has been disappointed that a footballer who he rates highly has once again not featured at Ibrox this term and stressed that he has to see him play on a weekly basis.

“I have brought Robbie McCrorie in again,” he said. “I keep saying that Robbie is one we have an eye on for the future, but he needs to play matches. He is not doing that just now. I still think that, the age he is, he can be one for the future. Hopefully he starts to get a few more games.” 

Jack Butland has been in superb form for Rangers this season and there appears little chance of McCrorie, who has done well during temporary spells at Berwick Rangers, Morton, Queen of the South and Livingston in the past, getting an extended run in the first team at Ibrox.

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Asked if he would advise McCrorie to go out on loan again in a bid to secure a place in the squad for the Euro 2024 finals, Clarke said: “It’s a conversation.

“I have already spoken to Robby a couple of times. But it’s a difficult one for me to get involved in because his club decides if he plays week in, week out, or whether he goes on loan.

“For me, Robby is a good technical goalkeeper. He has good hands and good feet. He saves the ball, which is pretty important for a goalkeeper.

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“The thing you don’t know about Robby, and what he will have to show when he gets a chance to play, is decision making on the pitch. I can’t make a decision on that until I see Robby playing some matches.

“If he can get some games at Rangers, then great. If Rangers decide to let him go on loan, that would also be great. But that is a decision for the club to make.”

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Asked whether he would prefer Clark or Kelly for the Georgia and Norway games, Clarke said: “Maybe I will give them a game each. It’s a chance to add to the one cap they’ve already got.

“The other two boys have been part of the squad and being second or third choice goalkeeper is never easy. It was nice to give them both a cap in France. I just felt it was the right time to reward them for their work in the group, which they do very well.” 

Craig Gordon, who was Scotland’s first choice keeper before he suffered a serious knee injury against Dundee United at Tannadice last December, is on the verge of returning to action with Hearts and Clarke is buoyed by his progress.

“I know Craig is improving, he is getting better,” he said. “I think the people at Hearts are expecting him to be more involved after this international camp, which is good. 

 “But let’s just give Craig the time that he needs to recover from his injury without extra pressure and get back to doing what he does best.”