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Clarke: Lessons to be learned from handling of Jack injury

The Scotland coach says he hasn't spoken to Steven Gerrard about the situation.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has admitted that lessons have to be learned after the national team's handling of Ryan Jack's injury upset Rangers.

Jack joined up with the squad for the games against Belgium and Russia last month but his time was cut short as he returned to his club injured.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard described the handling of his player as "careless" and Clarke conceded that communication between him, his staff and Jack could have been better, though he would have preferred Gerrard to keep his concerns private.

"I understand Steven's point of view because you send a player to international football and he comes back injured," he said. "So you're obviously going to be upset.

"It was unfortunate that Ryan picked up the injury and missed a Rangers game. Thankfully he's back now and he's playing well and he deserves his selection again.

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1441205-shankland-named-in-scotland-squad-for-euro-qualifiers/ | default

"It's not so much an annoyance. For me it's that with me, my staff and the player there was probably a lack of communication. So we have to work on that and be better on that in the future and hopefully we will be.

"I think within our staff we have to make sure that we address all these issues and hopefully it won't happen again."

Clarke revealed he hadn't discussed the issue with the Rangers manager but acknowledged there was a duty of care involved.

"I haven't spoken to Steven," he said. "He said what he had to say in the press and obviously I'll speak to Ryan when we meet up in camp.

"The communication is normally pretty decent. Obviously, as I touched on, I'm learning on my feet in this job and I do think communication with the clubs is important.

"The players belong to the clubs and we have to look after them when we have them, and send them back fit and well.

"It would have been better if it had been dealt with privately."

Shankland is a 'natural finisher'

Clarke announced his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino and the most eye-catching inclusion was Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland, who has been prolific in the Championship so far this season.

A late inclusion in the squad, Clarke said he would take the opportunity to see the forward in training but that he had attributes that could help the cause.

"Obviously he's a goalscorer, he's in form," the former Kilmarnock boss said. "I know Lawrence quite well from my time here in Scotland having watched him a few times, and it's not an area that we are over-burdened with top strikers.

"Lawrence is in form and deserves his chance. The best way to look at him and gauge what level he is at is to bring him into the squad.

"It's an opportunity to have him in the group, see how he works in the squad and hopefully he can score a few goals for us.

"If you're in form and a goalscorer, obviously he is going to come into the group with a lot of confidence. He scores goals with his head, left foot, right foot.

"He's a natural finisher and that's something maybe we haven't had in the squad recently. So hopefully this will address that."

Clarke also confirmed that Kieran Tierney had been lined up to return to the squad but a late request from Arsenal meant that the defender was not included in the group.

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