Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits he was “really surprised” that Graeme Shinnie was excluded from the Scotland set-up.
McInnes believes Shinnie is Scottish football’s top left-back but the 24-year-old lost out to Celtic’s Kieran Tierney along with Andy Robertson when Gordon Strachan named two squads for friendlies against the Czech Republic and Denmark later this month.
McInnes was delighted that Dons midfielder Kenny McLean was included but Ryan Jack failed to make the cut along with club-mates Mark Reynolds and Shinnie, who have both been in previous squads without playing.
“I’m delighted for Kenny,” McInnes said. “I expected him to be in it and hoped he would be in it and, now he is in it, hopefully he can demonstrate exactly why the manager has put him in there. The challenge for Kenny now is to continue to improve as he has been doing with us all season, and become a regular.
“But, on Shinnie, I’m so disappointed and really surprised he is not in it. I see him every day and I’m his manager so it’s natural I will be disappointed.
“And I know Gordon can only pick so many but I wouldn’t swap him for anybody. I think he’s the best left-back in the country.”
Shinnie can take out his frustration on Kilmarnock today as Aberdeen bid to keep their Premiership title challenge going.
But Killie boss Lee Clark has warned the Dons that his side’s need for points is just as great given their position in the relegation play-off spot. Clark said: “They have some terrific players but we’re going there with no fear.
“They’ve got to win matches as much as we do. We’ve got to go there with a strong game-plan defensively but we also have to be productive when we have the ball and make chances because we need to win football matches and we need to start scoring goals.”