Steve Clarke has made clear he has no interest in pursuing Elliot Anderson and Harvey Barnes as the Newcastle pair deliberate whether or not to commit their international futures to Scotland or England.
Anderson appeared in a Scotland squad for the first time before last week’s meeting with Cyprus but returned to his club after two days of training. It now appears clear the 20-year-old, who was born in Whitley Bay and played for England at Under-19 level, is reconsidering his position. Gareth Southgate has said England “like” the midfielder.
Barnes has one full England cap but has also been courted in the past; reports at the weekend stated the former Leicester player is contemplating a switch of nations.
“If we can find people who will improve us and who really, really, really want to be with us then we can improve the squad that way,” said Clarke prior to Scotland’s meeting with England at Hampden Park on Tuesday.
“If there are people who have a little doubt and they’re not quite sure then I am not going to be phoning up and trying to persuade anybody to come. We don’t need to do that. We are in a great position with the people we have got here.
“I want a Che Adams, I want a Lyndon Dykes. On board from the first minute they walked in the door, on board with everyone at it. They understand what it means to everybody within the group. They got the message straight away and have been fantastic for us.”
Regarding the specifics of the Anderson situation, Clarke added: “There was a conversation that I had earlier in the year. All quiet. I then got a call to say he wanted to come. So we brought him up, he picked up a knock and went back. And it puts him in the situation where he was before he came to camp.
“He can play for England, he can play for Scotland. That’s it and there is nothing else I can do on that. We will see how it pans out.”
On Barnes, the Scotland manager explained: “I am not going to say I haven’t spoken to Harvey because I have. But that was a long time ago. I haven’t heard from him since. “The next phone call won’t be from me. I’m not saying he has to call me but after this camp I probably still have a couple of weeks of fishing and I will be playing a bit of golf and getting ready for the October games.”
Clarke also insisted players cannot expect to arrive in the Scotland squad for the first time at next summer’s Euros, with Scotland’s passage to the tournament all but assured after their victory over Cyprus on Friday. “You have to put in the hard graft, 100%,” he said.