Steve Clarke on hunt for goalies with Scottish grannies as he addresses Rangers 'keeper's loan situation
Steve Clarke is on the hunt for goalkeepers with Scottish grannies after admitting the shortage of options at international level could become a concern.
There are few obvious contenders coming through, hence the manager’s decision to turn to Rangers’ third choice ‘keeper Robby McCrorie after Ibrox teammate Jon McLaughlin was forced to withdraw from the Scotland squad earlier this week. McCrorie has not featured this season and made only two appearances last season.
Scotland have been fortunate in having Craig Gordon, Allan McGregor and David Marshall to choose from in the last two decades. Gordon is still around and remains No 1 choice, but he turns 40 in December.
McGregor and Marshall have both retired from the international scene. Motherwell’s Liam Kelly is in the current squad and is highly thought of but Zander Clark is now No 2 at Hearts behind Gordon and has not played since leaving St Johnstone last season.
“You have got Liam who is playing week in, week out in the Scottish Premiership. You had Zander who was playing week in, week out,” said Clarke. “Zander has chosen to go to Hearts and he is obviously going to sit on the bench behind Craig - for now anyway.
“It is an area that would give you some concern moving forward. It is something that we are aware of and we are looking at. You are not always going to get three diamonds like McGregor, Marshall and Gordon at the same time. Hopefully we can find someone.
“We are looking around trying to find somebody with a granny that is Scottish that doesn’t really know they are Scottish. You are always looking.
“We are mindful of the fact that it is an area that could be of concern going forward. Listen, let’s not pre-judge. Liam hasn’t had any games for Scotland. Zander hasn’t had any games. Young Robby hasn’t had any games. Let’s not pre-judge the situation. It is something of which you have to be mindful.”
Clarke stressed that it wasn’t up to him to decide if McCrorie should look elsewhere after finding games hard to come by at Ibrox. He has previously enjoyed loan spells at Livingston, Morton and Berwick Rangers.
Asked if he would speak to McCrorie and advise him to seek a loan move, he said: “But then I am getting involved in club business and I wouldn’t expect a club manager to get involved in my business.
“I certainly wouldn’t do that. It would help Robby if he was playing more regular football. More regular doesn’t mean to say playing every week. Obviously, Robby is 24 now. I am not sure what his contract situation is now to be honest. I would imagine that he is thinking at 24 that he needs to play matches.
“But I am not going to tell Rangers how to conduct their business, I am not going to tell any club how to conduct their business unless I am at that club.”
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