Steve Clarke says Scotland will cope with a large number of call-offs as the likes of Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn miss the first of three World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

McGinn and youngster Nathan Patterson are isolating while recently-appointed Aston Villa and Scotland coach Austin MacPhee has tested positive for Covid-19. Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, Greg Taylor and James Forrest are injured, meaning Clarke is six players down for Wednesday’s match with Denmark.

Walsall v Aston Villa - Pre-season Friendly

The Aston Vila man is out the Denmark game. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Scotland head coach Clarke is hopeful of having Aston Villa man McGinn and right-back Patterson back for Saturday’s match with Moldova as Steven Naismith joins the coaching staff: “Two years into my international career it has probably been the most disruptive camp in terms of call-offs which is disappointing.

“But I think we’ve got enough in the current group to go to Denmark and hopefully get the result we want. Medical information tells me that both John (McGinn) and Nathan (Patterson) should join us after the Denmark game. I won’t need to look too deep for replacements for those two. I’ll work with a slightly smaller squad for the Denmark game.

 

“It is a completely different blow for me. I was hoping I would have a new coaching team in place, at the very last minute I asked Steven Naismith who I know as a player to step up and become an extra pair of eyes on the training pitch.”

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