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Gordon Strachan: I have sympathy with Aberdeen players who missed squad

Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack and Graeme Shinnie
Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack and Graeme Shinnie

Gordon Strachan says he has sympathy with Aberdeen key players Ryan Jack, Kenny McLean and Graeme Shinnie after failing to include them in his squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on March 26.

All three have been in terrific form for Derek McInnes’ Dons as the Reds have taken a firm grip of second spot in the Premiership and have Hibs between them and a second cup final of the season.

Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty believes Dons midfielder McLean was worthy of a Scotland call-up.

Docherty will assist national team manager Strachan and his number two Mark McGhee as part of the coaching team for both games.

The Aberdeen assistant, speaking before the squad was announced, hailed McLean’s display as the Dons beat Motherwell thanks to Niall McGinn’s injury-time winner on Saturday.

He said: “I thought Kenny was outstanding. He has shown great consistency in his game and looks like a player in top form just now.”

However, while the Republic of Ireland have no qualms about selecting Jonny Hayes and Adam Rooney, and Niall McGinn is a regular with Northern Ireland, Scotland manager Strachan yesterday ignored home-based Pittodrie players yet again.

Instead, he has brought in Celtic’s in-form Stuart Armstrong, Fulham’s Tom Cairney and Aberdeen youth product Ryan Fraser, who has become a regular for Bournemouth in the English Premier League.

Strachan said: “The Aberdeen lads have been doing well. Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean have been doing very good jobs and I know Derek McInnes is very pleased with them.

“They are unfortunate that they play in the same area of the team where I have so much depth and competition.

“There are arguments for all of the central midfield players who are being left out. There are a lot of good midfield players being left out. But if you actually look at the central midfield we have got, it is very good.”

The Scots face Canada in a friendly at Easter Road on March 22 ahead of the vital World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Hampden Park.

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