The 21-year-old confesses he had hoped that his scintillating at club level across the past four months would have brought the reward of a first senior call-up for the country’s opening trio of World Cup qualifiers that will bring Austria to Hampden next Thursday, before Group F encounters with Israel and the Faroe Islands.
With the Euro finals in June now looming large, Turnbull believes the setback need not preclude him forcing his way into Clarke’s plans for the country’s first appearance in a major tournament for 23 years - even as he currently nurses disappointment about the immediate thwarting of his international ambitions.
“Maybe a wee bit,” he said of that suggestion. “I wasn’t expecting to be first pick or whatever – but I had my eye on the squad. These things happen, you just need to work around it and keep doing what I’m doing. [The Euros] is a big motivation. I just want to go out and play as well as I can and if that is good enough, then I hope it is. But it comes down to Steve Clarke, the manager, it is his decision and I need to respect that. I just need to keep working hard.”
Turnbull doesn’t disagree that Sunday’s derby offers him the stage to enhance his Scotland prospects, as well giving him the opportunity to make amends and point the way to better times ahead for his club following two losses in the fixture since his £3.5m summer move from Motherwell.
‘The game at the weekend and the remaining games of the season give me a really good platform to show what I can do,” he said. “I’m just trying to give myself the best opportunity I can. Steve didn’t speak to me but I got called by someone who works with the national team, who said Steve wanted to pass on a message. I wouldn’t like to say what the message was. It was good to get a message, at least.”