Parkhead fans were surprised when Taylor, who was a standout for Ange Postecoglou’s home and away team in the 2022/23 campaign, was not among the 23 names announced by Clarke today.
However, the former Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United assistant revealed that the defender, who worked with him during his training spell at Kilmarnock, is suffering from a minor injury.
The 25-year-old has made 34 appearances for club and country this season, and the Scottish champions feel he needs a break from competitive football during the international window.
Read more: Steve Clarke announces Scotland’s squad for the matches against Spain and Cyprus
“I spoke with Greg,” Clark said. “It’s really a Celtic issue, more than I can comment on. He’s got a minor injury.
“He would probably benefit from a rest rather than out with the national team. Celtic should make that clear a little bit.”
He added, “We are well covered in all positions. We’re not so bad at left-back. (Kieran) Tierney and (Andy) Robertson are fine. Young Josh Doig is under 21 if we want to dig deeper into this situation.
“Aaron Hickey can play left or right. Aaron is back playing for Brentford. Nathan Patterson has been fit for a number of weeks, three weeks I think.
“He’s had a few minutes with the Under-21s, but he hasn’t managed to convince his new keeper that he should play in the team yet. But I’m sure that will come.”
Meanwhile, Clarke explained that Lawrence Shankland, the Hearts striker who has scored 21 goals in all competitions this season, was missing from the Scotland squad because he had picked up a hamstring injury and QPR striker Lyndon Dykes returned to action after recovering from pneumonia.
“Lawrence has been really good this season,” he said. “He had a good campaign. When I was looking at the advanced section, Lawrence was at the forefront of my mind. Perhaps the fact that he had a minor injury prompted me to go the other way.
“And obviously I got Lyndon back. I wasn’t really expecting Lyndon to be fit. I watched him play for QPR at the weekend. Che (Adams) and Lyndon were my favorite strikers if you like, and I’m glad they’re both in the team.”
Read more: Steve Clarke admits Scotland are top of the winning list as Gunn joins the squad
Clarke Dykes, who was hospitalized with an illness in January and spent nearly two months out of action, watched Watford play at Loftus Road on Saturday and is confident he will be able to make his debut against Cyprus.
“There was an early period when he had his illness when we didn’t think he was going to come back this season,” he said. “But he’s a tough guy.
“I went to the game at the weekend just to see him on the pitch. He was good. He got almost an hour, but it was a good hour. I wouldn’t look at him and think he was in bad shape. He was in good shape. It’s a bonus that Lyndon is fit.” and available.
“It wasn’t fun for him and his family. He’s in a much better place now which is great for everyone.”
Dykes is one of a number of Scotland players who haven’t done much for their teams in recent weeks. Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Patterson (Everton) and Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) are either injured or not. beginning.
Nonetheless, Clarke is optimistic about the national team’s ability, helped by a packed crowd in Hampden on Saturday, to begin their Euro 2024 campaign.
“I think you can sometimes look a lot in the minutes,” he said. “We’ve all had six months to sit and watch and say this person is not playing and this person is not playing.
“When you look at the average minutes over the course of a season, with the exception of one or two, they all get enough football. The thing is, if they don’t play they don’t get injured, and that helps too.”
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