Scotland manager Steve Clarke lashes out at Ryan Fraser when he says he has ‘a team of players who want to be here’ after the Newcastle winger withdrew from the side only to train with his club 48 hours later
- Ryan Fraser retired from the Scotland team ahead of their clash with Moldova
- The Newcastle winger cited a calf injury but later trained with Newcastle
- It was understood that Steve Clarke was far from impressed by the situation.
- He says he has a ‘squad of players’ who want to be with the camp
Steve Clarke says that the commitment of his Scottish players has put them on the brink of a World Cup playoff, in what was seen as a blow against absent Ryan Fraser.
The Newcastle winger retired from the team on Sunday before Friday’s game in Moldova, where a win will secure second place.
Fraser cited a calf injury when he retired, only to later train with his club side 48 hours later, which was Eddie Howe’s first day in charge.
Ryan Fraser withdrew from the Scottish team with an injury, but was training 48 hours later.
It is understood that Clarke is far from impressed and, when asked about the situation, said: ‘The best way to answer that is to say that I have a team of players who want to be here. They’re all here, so let’s talk about those guys.
“We have built a really strong team. I had to persuade Lyndon Dykes that it was a bad idea to fly to Moldova. He is not with us at the moment, he is suspended.
But it shows you the level of commitment I have from the guys on the team. That is what we are building and I prefer to talk about those people.
Steve Clarke was understood to be far from impressed with the situation surrounding Fraser.
A Scotland win on Friday night would put them on the brink of a spot in the World Cup play-offs.
“That commitment is huge for us. That’s why, when you need to score a late goal, that spirit and togetherness are there. That’s when it shines.
‘You turn draws into wins because of team spirit and sentiment among this group of players. That’s vitally important to us and what we’re trying to do. ‘
Clarke has taken a hit with the loss of Manchester United’s Scott McTominay to illness. He scored the winning goal in injury time against Israel last month to put the Scots in control of their own destiny.
One win on Friday night and it will be two World Cup matches next year in Qatar.