Sheffield United: Blades duo John Fleck and Oli McBurnie learn their Scotland fates
Sheffield United's John Fleck and Oli McBurnie will be hoping to rescue Scotland's hopes of reaching next summer's European Championships after being named in Steve Clarke's squad for games against Cyprus and Kazakhstan later this month.
Although they can no longer qualify automatically following a miserable Group I campaign, the Scot's can secure a place in the finals if they progress through the play-offs against as yet unnamed opponents.
Although McBurnie has been capped eight times by his country, Fleck's long awaited debut came during a recent defeat by Russia in Moscow. He was then forced to miss the win over San Marino because of injury.
Speaking at Hampden Park, Clarke underlined the importance of his team's latest games having previously acknowledged its confidence has been dented by a frustrating sequence of results.
"I have to focus on the players that come and build a squad that comes committed," Clarke said, bemoaning the absence of players including Arsenal's Kieran Tierney. "We don’t get much time on the training pitch but we’ll bed down and work on the ideas. It’s modern football, you have to adapt and make the most of it."
Fleck and McBurnie both featured during last weekend's 3-0 defeat of Burnley; a result which means United will enter Saturday's match at Tottenham Hotspur ranked sixth in the Premier League table. John Egan, David McGoldrick, Callum Robinson and Enda Stevens are all expected to be selected by the Republic of Ireland when Mick McCarthy's unveils his selections for the crucial Group D clash against Denmark. Dean Henderson, on loan from Manchester United, was called-up by Gareth Southgate for England's last round of fixtures while another loanee, Mo Besic, is a regular pick for Bosnia and Herzegovina.