Scotland assistant manager Mark McGhee claims there is no room for Aberdeen defender Graeme Shinnie in the squad.
The left back was overlooked by manager Gordon Strachan for tomorrow’s game against Czech Republic and Tuesday’s match against Denmark, despite a string of impressive performances for the Dons this season and with Caley Thistle last term.
Although the 24-year-old was included in the squad for European qualifiers against Poland and Gibraltar towards the end of last year, he was not handed his first cap.
Former Dons manager McGhee says Hull City defender Andy Robertson and Celtic’s Charlie Mulgrew have sewn up the position between themselves for the double-header, meaning there was no place for the Aberdeen defender.
When asked why neither Shinnie nor Rangers captain Lee Wallace, who has also impressed for the league leaders in the Championship this season, had been called up McGhee said: “We can’t accommodate everyone in every position.
“Andy Robertson, for instance, has done brilliantly. Charlie Mulgrew will play left back as well.
“We can’t have everyone in the squad. Mulgrew and Robertson are the ones in possession. There is no place for those other players.
“I could name another dozen people who could be in. But Gordon has to pick a squad that he thinks is right and he wants to learn as much about as he possibly can and he has picked the ones that he thinks are right.”
Dons manager Derek McInnes was among those to query why Shinnie’s outstanding club form has not been recognised but McGhee says uncapped players such as the Aberdeen defender should not feel disheartened at not being part of the squad until qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia begins in September.
McGhee added: “The critical thing for players is when Gordon comes to name the squad for the Malta game when the campaign starts.
“Then people can start to worry if they’re not in it or ask the question about why someone’s not in it.
“At this stage, we’re just trying to gain as much knowledge as we possibly can and at the same time keep a balance of the squad that makes us able to be competitive and do well in the games.”