It’s not quite famine to feast but the battle to play up front for Scotland has got more competitive all of a sudden – and Callum Paterson wants to be a part of it.
Lyndon Dykes was pretty much the last man standing for October’s Nations League double-header, with Oli McBurnie and Dundee United’s Lawrence Shankland among the attacking call-offs.
It is a different story ahead of Thursday night’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel, however.
Not only does Steve Clarke have deeper options, he also has strikers on form to choose from.
Dykes would appear to be a certain starter after his two performances for Scotland a few weeks ago and Paterson, who has moved from Cardiff City to Sheffield Wednesday, believes he could be the QPR frontman’s ideal partner.
The former Hearts player has been deployed in defence, midfield and attack through his career but now wants some permanence to the latter – even though he ended up marking Dykes at the weekend!
“I think up front is where I am most effective,” said Paterson.
“I can play in a lot of positions but I’m at a stage where I need to look to one position and make it my own.
“Sheffield Wednesday have signed me to play up front even though I have the number five shirt. The owner is a bit funny about the numbers so I had to end up taking what I was given.
“Funnily enough I actually finished the game playing centre-half due to injuries. Lyndon is a very good player and I had to give him a couple of elbows.
“He did exceptionally well for them at the weekend and was arguably their best player.
“I liked the big man and I am looking forward to working with him in training this week.
“I think we could play together. Anyone who knows me is aware how hard I work and I do think it could be beneficial for us to play together.
“There are some great players in the squad and some great players who haven’t even made the squad.
“But, I have to believe in myself that I’m capable of doing a job up there and score a few goals.
“I’m the first to admit I’m not Ronaldo but I feel I do bring certain things to the team.
“It would also be an amazing time to score my first Scotland goal. I’ve had a few caps now and a few chances so it would be nice to get on the park and grab one.”
Thursday’s game at Hampden will hopefully set-up a winner-takes-all clash with Norway or Serbia next month and, as such, can reasonably be described as the most important Scotland fixture since European Championship qualification was on the line in Glasgow against Italy in 2007.
“This is a massive game for the country as a whole,” said Paterson.
“I’m a patriotic person and everything I have achieved in football is surpassed by representing my country.
“For me, playing for Scotland is the pinnacle. It is the highest honour you can achieve.
“If I could help the country get to a major finals it would be incredible.
“I think getting there is the biggest thing. I don’t think it would mean more in the current climate as the fans have always been desperate.”