Scotland: Andy Robertson, Ryan Fraser and Scott McTominay ‘genuinely injured’ – Alex Dyer

Robertson has played in five of Clarke’s six matches as Scotland manager
Euro 2020 qualifying: Cyprus v Scotland
Venue: GSP Stadium, Stovolos Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website & app.

Assistant head coach Alex Dyer says the latest four call-offs from the Scotland squad, including captain Andy Robertson, are all “genuinely injured”.

Arsenal asked for Kieran Tierney to be excused from the original squad despite the left-back now playing regularly for his club following hip surgery.

Scott McTominay, Ryan Fraser and Liam Cooper have now all also pulled out for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

“If a player is injured, we can’t do anything about it,” Dyer said.

“All the ones that have pulled out this time are genuinely injured. It’s not like they wanted to be pulled out or didn’t want to come.”

Celtic winger Lewis Morgan and Derby County midfielder Graeme Shinnie have been called up for the matches against Cyprus and Kazakhstan in place of Liverpool left-back Robertson, Manchester United midfielder McTominay, Bournemouth winger Fraser and Leeds United centre-half Liam Cooper.

Dyer admitted that he did not know the details of the latest injuries but insisted that the fact Scotland are now unable to qualify from Group I was not a factor.

“No-one has told us they want us to rest anyone as far as I know,” he said. “It’s definitely not a dead rubber.”

Dyer pointed out that Scotland were trying to improve their results in time for Nations Cup play-offs in March and that it would be “amazing” to taste the “glory” of qualifying for the finals and that the players “all want a taste of it”.

Robertson, who delivered the cross for Liverpool’s second goal in the 3-1 win over Manchester City on Sunday, will remain with Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for a couple of days but will not travel to Cyprus for Saturday’s match.

“It is a big blow, but he’s here with us now,” Dyer said. “We don’t know how bad his injury is, but he wants to be here and around it.

“Andy is an outstanding full-back, one of the best in Europe, if not the world. He’s a good captain, so we’ll miss him, but there are other players in the squad who will step up and do a good job.”

Robertson’s absence deprives Clarke of another high-calibre left-back after Tierney was left out of the squad to protect him from aggravating his hip problem.

McTominay was carried off with an ankle injury during Manchester United’s 3-1 weekend win over Brighton & Hove Albion, while Fraser played the full 90 minutes of Bournemouth’s 2-1 loss at Newcastle United.

Celtic’s Morgan is drafted in despite having made just three club appearances since August, while Shinnie, who can play at left-back, has impressed for Derby since breaking into the team last month following his summer move from Aberdeen.

“We’ve just got to concentrate on the ones that are here,” Dyer added. “The ones who want to be here and want to train and play well for their country.”

After Scotland face Cyprus in Nicosia on Saturday, they end their Group I campaign at home to Kazakhstan on Tuesday – their last game before the play-off semi-final against an opponent yet to be finalised.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Craig MacGillivray (Portsmouth), David Marshall (Wigan Athletic), Jon McLaughlin (Sunderland)

Defenders: Michael Devlin (Aberdeen), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Scott McKenna (Aberdeen), Stephen O’Donnell (Kilmarnock), Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday), Greg Taylor (Celtic)

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Celtic), John Fleck (Sheffield United), Ryan Jack (Rangers), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), Lewis Morgan (Celtic), Graeme Shinnie (Derby County)

Forwards: Oliver Burke (Alaves, on loan from West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United), Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian), Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United)

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