What Hearts and Hibs had to say about Scotland snubs for key players

Capital bosses Robbie Neilson and Shaun Maloney have expressed their disappointment that Scotland counterpart Steve Clarke chose not to reward their in-form defenders with a space in his squad for the upcoming friendlies.

Hibs defender Ryan Porteous.
Hibs defender Ryan Porteous.

Hearts’ Craig Halkett and Stephen Kingsley and Hibs’ Ryan Porteous and Chris Cadden had all been linked with possible call-ups but, missing out this time, their club bosses have urged to keep up those standards, with Maloney telling his players “I’m sure there will be recognition of that down the line”.

“Ultimately it's up to Steve to decide,” said Hearts boss Neilson, when asked about Halkett and Kingsley.

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"Both of them have done very well. We have some big games coming up – a chance to get into Europe and win a cup – if they can do that it will raise their stock even more and give Steve more questions.”

Hearts defenders Stephen Kingsley and Craig Halkett.

“I've been on the other side,” added Hibs manager Maloney. “I've been a coach for a national team, and I want to be really respectful to Steve Clarke: I love the work he's done. He's done an amazing job with Scotland.

“The only thing I can say is I've been really impressed with how they've played for me, and if they keep the performances as high as they have been, I'm sure they're going to come into contention for the national team.

“Ryan's performances have grown since I've been here. I don't think there's been a better centre-half in the country, let alone a Scottish one. He has been that good for me.

And Chris has churned out the games at a really high level when we haven't been able to rest him.”