Scotland boss Steve Clarke has explained why Oli McBurnie played in a friendly for Sheffield United after dropping out the international squad.

The Blades frontman was picked by Clarke for the Nations League matches against Israel and Czech Republic this week. But the striker dropped out with injury alongside Dundee United hitman Lawrence Shankland, Callum Patterson coming as the replacement.

Oli McBurnie has dropped out the Scotland side.(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But there was confusion for Scotland fans as McBurnie played the second half of Sheffield United’s friendly against Derby, despite dropping out of involvement with the national team over a foot injury.

But Steve Clarke is happy for McBurnie to be playing friendly matches with his club. The Scotland boss says there’s a big difference between playing in a friendly match and contesting two competitive games for your country.


“I spoke to Chris Wilder at the end of last week and he told me Oli hadn’t been training because he had a laceration in his foot that had become infected and that he wouldn’t be fit enough to play at international level,” Clarke said.

Clarke has commented on McBurnie (Photo by Mikhail TereshchenkoTASS via Getty Images)

“Chris is one of the most honest men in football and we had a good discussion about where Oli was at. People have to remember there’s a world of difference between getting some minutes in a pre-season friendly and preparing for an international double header.”

With McBurnie out injured, that leaves the door open for Lyndon Dykes to make his Scotland debut. The new QPR forward has pledged his allegiances to Scotland over Australia and is Clarke’s only recognised striker for the upcoming matches.

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