Scotland manager Steve Clarke has responded after being asked about Rangers star Nathan Patterson and Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour’s lack of playing time at Ibrox and Carrow Road respectively.
Both Patterson and Gilmour have been called up for World Cup Qualifiers against Moldova and Denmark later this month, as Scotland look to clinch a playoff spot.
Both players featured in the victories over Israel and the Faroe Islands last month, with Patterson assisting the winner in the latter.
However, he has only made one brief substitute appearance for the Gers since then while Gilmour hasn’t played at all for Norwich.
Clarke isn’t overly concerned at the minute, though, and hinted that the two 20-year-old’s will have roles to play in the doubleheader.
“I think the two young ones, they just want to play football,” he said [Glasgow Times]. “They just want to play as often as possible. So if they’re coming away with us they know they’re going to get game time, they’re going to be excited. No matter what’s going on at their clubs.”
“Obviously, when they’re at their clubs, they still have to work hard in training. They still have to try and impress the manager, they still have to do as well as they can when they do get minutes on the pitch.
“So far, it doesn’t seem to have affected their performances for Scotland, so long may that continue.”
It’s a boost for Patterson that his lack of recent playing time is unlikely to push him down the pecking order at international level.
He has the outstanding James Tavernier to compete with at club level but is clearly the best option at right-back for Clarke right now, with Stephen O’Donnell surely set for a backup role in the upcoming matches.
An exciting Rangers loanee will know how Patterson feels as he hasn’t played for over a month due to injury problems.