Steve Clarke says former Scotland forward Steven Fletcher played a key role in the call-up of Jacob Brown to his squad.
Stoke City striker Brown is among Clarke’s 25-man squad for the World Cup qualifying double header against Moldova and Denmark later this month.
Although the 23-year-old was born in Halifax, he qualifies to play for Scotland through his mother who is from Robroyston in Glasgow.
Brown’s call-up follows a fine start to the season, in which he has netted four goals and claimed four assists in the English Championship.
In doing so he has formed a strong partnership with 34-year-old former Scots attacker Fletcher, who netted 10 goals in 34 international outings prior to his last cap in 2018.
Clarke says Fletcher’s glowing reference of Brown’s qualities contributed to his selection.
Clarke said: “He was released as a young kid and then had to find a way back to senior football through non-league at Guiseley before he went to Barnsley.
“He comes with a hunger having been rejected. He’s had a similar progression through the ranks as Che but he’s a wee bit different.
“He’s a pest, he’s energetic – and if you’re a defender you know you’re in a game because he’s constantly asking questions of you.
“He’d done great for Stoke playing up front as a striker beside big Steven Fletcher.
“Steven has given me a good recommendation through a third party. If Steven is recommending him then you know he’s got something.
“He’s been on the radar for a while, I’m pretty sure he was going to be called up for the under 21s just before Covid hit when we became aware his mother was from Glasgow, Robroyston I believe.”
Adams showing promising signs
Clarke is also pleased with the recent form of Southampton forward Che Adams, who is a strong contender to start against Moldova given the absence of Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie through suspension.
Adams has found the net in his last two games, with Clarke adding: “I actually went to Stamford Bridge to watch Che live against Chelsea and he was excellent.
“He hadn’t had much football so he was breathing a little bit after about 70 minutes but he got his goal that night – a classic striker’s goal from one yard out which I love to see. When a striker is scoring from one yard out it means he’s in the killing zone.
“Then he followed up by curling on into the top corner at the weekend. Like most strikers, Che is a little bit streaky. When he goes on a run of games he’ll get goals in consecutive games and then have a little dry spell.
“But hopefully we’ve got him in the middle of a goal run.
“He’s played a lot for us. I think he’s got two goals but he’s always done well. I like Che as a player and I like what he brings to the team.
“Him and Lyndon work well together. They won’t be together this time but if Che is on the pitch then I have no doubts he can do a really good job for us.”