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St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson challenges players to force their way into the Scotland squad

Jason Kerr and Zander Clark.
Jason Kerr and Zander Clark.

The St Johnstone players who missed out on Scotland selection shouldn’t be disheartened, according to their club manager.

Hopes had been raised that the form of the likes of Jason Kerr, Shaun Rooney and Zander Clark in a Betfred Cup-winning side would have seen at least one of them called-up by national boss Steve Clarke for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Perth club have two current internationals in their squad, Canada’s David Wotherspoon and Ali McCann of Northern Ireland, but you have to go back a decade for the last serving Saint to play for Scotland – Murray Davidson.

Callum Davidson, who got his first cap not long after leaving McDiarmid Park for Blackburn Rovers which was also the case for Stevie May after he signed for Sheffield Wednesday, has challenged his young Hampden heroes to stake the sort of claim that cannot be ignored.

“I hoped a few of my boys would be near enough,” he said. “We have had some big results against good teams lately.

“We are up there with the top four or five in the league based on form over the last 10 games.

“Hopefully they are catching the eye.

“But Steve Clarke has a lot of players to pick from so I am not trying to criticise him.

“I’m just hoping he notices them and has a look at them. They are all young. They all have loads of time on their side.”

Davidson has Scots with the best part of their careers still in front of them in all three of his central defensive positions – Kerr, Jamie McCart and Liam Gordon.

We have a left-sider, a right-sider and one who is very good in the middle.

“In the semi-final our back three were excellent and again in the final,” he said.

“We have a left-sider, a right-sider and one who is very good in the middle.

“Scotland play a back three. That is something they have learned to do this season every week so they are used to playing that way.

“If they play well for me at St Johnstone then I hope they get the attention to progress their careers and attract the attention of the national manager.”

Davidson was brought into the Scotland coaching set-up by Gordon Strachan and he doesn’t buy into conspiracy theories that Perth is a footballing no-go zone when it comes to checking out potential new recruits.

“Zander was on the radar at that time,” he recalled.

“It would be a lack of respect from me to the Scotland manager to say he is not looking, because he will be.

“That is what his job is. He will be looking, he will be making calls so I will never criticise his team selection.

“It would be nice for our guys to get there but he picks the squad.

“If my boys keep performing at a good level he will have no choice.”

Scotland analysis: Should Ryan Gauld, Dundee United star Lawrence Shankland and St Johnstone cup heroes feel hard done by at snub?

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