Lawrence Shankland was a peripheral figure for his Dundee United side as they battled to a 0-0 draw against St Mirren in Paisley as his attention quickly turns to Scotland v Serbia
The United performance was far from their best as they struggled to muster any meaningful attacks against the Buddies. Shankland didn’t think the performance was good enough to merit three points in Paisley.
Speaking after the match, the striker said: “It was frustrating at times but when you come away from home you know it is going to be difficult. After the time we’ve had, it’s our first game back as well, so we were always going to be chomping at the bit to get out there.
“It was a weird game, there wasn’t much in it for both teams. One shot on target in the game? That sums it up, really. It was one of those games. It wasn’t great so we’ll just take the point.”
With the St Mirren game out of the way Shankland is focused on the up and coming Scotland match against Serbia. Win the match and Scotland are on the way to a first major tournament since 1998.
Winning against Serbia would banish the anguish and hurt that so many supporters of the national team have endured over the past two decades. Shankland understands just how important this game is and what a win would mean for the squad.
He said: “It would be huge. We had the game last month against Israel in similar circumstances. It’s a one-off game, this time we are away from home. Hopefully we can go there and win, we are in good form.
“It’s eight games unbeaten for us, so you can’t ask for much more going into a game of that magnitude. I’m not too bothered about the performance, to be honest with you – it’s just about getting through. If we can do that, I’m sure everyone will be happy.”
Shankland will need to compete with Oli McBurnie, Leigh Griffiths, and Lyndon Dykes if he wants a place in Steve Clarke’s starting XI. Whilst he hasn’t hit the heights that he achieved last season, the United striker will still give it his all when he links up with the squad.
Shankland is hopeful of being involved in the game but understands the final decision falls to the manager: “I’ll look to do what I can when I join up, as I do every time. It is up to the manager from there.
“You can only try to impress in training and if you get called upon to play a part then so be it. I’m sure whoever is selected to do the job, then the full squad will be behind them and hoping that they can go and get it done.
“Everybody wants to get to a major tournament. We are one game away and you don’t get many better chances than that. The boys will be looking forward to meeting up. Hopefully all the top players come through their games this week unscathed and we can meet up with a full squad.”