Scotland manager Alex McLeish insists he has made no long-term decision over whether Craig Gordon or Allan McGregor will be his first choice goalkeeper.
McLeish confirmed he will rotate between Celtic goalkeeper Gordon and his Rangers counterpart McGregor for tonight’s friendly against Belgium and Monday’s Nations League game against Albania, although he did not specify in which order the two will play.
Having acknowledged there is precious little to separate the pair, McLeish insists he faces a selection dilemma beyond this weekend’s matches.
He said: “It is a tough decision but I’m in cahoots with Stevie Woods, the goalkeeping coach. He is very fair with the two experienced goalkeepers and Jordan Archer as well. Stevie and I had big discussions a couple of weeks ago before the squad assembled about how we play this.
“It’s difficult when you’ve got two goalkeepers of a tremendous level. England had that problem way back in the day with Shilton and Clemence and it was one game each. There were eras where it worked out for the coach.
“I don’t want to lose any of our goalkeepers and have the ideal solution. I want these two guys to be around for as long as possible.
“For these two games, we have had an amicable agreement.
“We will wait to see how the games go and see what suits the style of play we have in a game. If somebody has 40 world class saves against Belgium then he might have nailed his position.
“It’s a very difficult decision though. It’s so difficult for me to say that, ongoing, I can definitely pick one above the other.”
McLeish confirmed he sees a back three as being the best way to accommodate Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney, who both occupy the left back position for their clubs.
He added: “That’s in my head, but we are not averse to changing it to four at any given moment.
“In maximising the strengths of the players we have, I don’t think we can get it right for every single player but I believe that’s going to be a strong position for us.”
Having not reached a major tournament for 20 years, McLeish hopes his players can take inspiration from the achievements of Scotland’s women’s national team, who earlier this week sealed their qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals in France.
He added: “The ladies team have done the nation proud and it’s up to us to pick that up now.
“The boys know all about what they achieved, and we want to get to that point ourselves.”