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McLeish will 'lean on' club bosses to boost Scotland cause

Alex McLeish said he'll be relying on his club peers as Scotland's Euro campaign kicks off.

Alex McLeish says he will lean on club managers to free-up star players during a hectic period of the season to help Scotland's Euro qualification cause.

The Scots kick off their campaign away to Kazakhstan next month as the Premiership campaign nears the business end.

McLeish's men have earned the "bonus" of the Nations League play-offs as a fallback should they fail to finish in the top two of a testing group, also featuring Belgium and Russia.

The national team boss talked up Scotland's chances of qualifying automatically to end a 22-year major finals wait, but said carrying on strong relationships with club bosses will be key.

"The Nations League is a bonus - we are really concentrated on the upcoming Euros," said McLeish.

"Again I would lean on the club managers to realise that the players are going to be called up from their clubs and it's a massively important phase for us.

"We feel that if we get every player that is available to us that we want in the squad then obviously that increases our chances."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1435437-mcleish-only-belgian-brilliance-will-beat-us-this-time/ | default

McLeish took a much-changed squad on a tour of the Americas during the early months of his second tenure last summer.

A host of national team mainstays were left at home as the Scots lost to Mexico and Peru.

The ex-Rangers manager said he hoped strong bonds with his peers would bear fruit.

On calling up players, he added: "You can insist, of course you can, and there are rulings within the game.

"But we prefer to have good relations with club managers, we do a lot of work to ensure they are on side with us and we are on side with them.

"We come and go at certain moments in the calendar year.

"A lot of people much maligned the trip but it was a chance to experiment and try a lot of other Scottish players that were not on the radar.

"We got to Mexico and lose 1-0 and lost 2-0 in Lima [against Peru] but they were pretty good performances and it was good for me to see boys who thought they would never played for Scotland - we had a great reaction from these guys.

"We lost a lot of the Celtic players and a few from England, we made concessions with the club managers and I said, look, when we go to competition I'll be looking to get these guys freed up, playing for Scotland.

"To be fair, I've been to see the managers and they have been excellent at releasing the players to play for the national team which, to me, should be the footballers dream."

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