Scotland: Could Zander Clark replace Craig Gordon for Euro 2024 qualifiers? | Football News
Craig Gordon believes Hearts team-mate Zander Clark is ready to replace him in the Scotland set-up for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Scotland face Cyprus and Spain later this month at Hampden Park but with Gordon missing following his double leg break on Christmas Eve, head coach Steve Clarke faces a difficult decision on who to pick between the sticks.
From his previous squad, Motherwell’s Liam Kelly could be another option as both ‘keepers battle for their first cap, and while Jon McLaughlin has two caps – a lack of game time could count against the Rangers player.
Having seen Clark step in and keep seven clean sheets for Hearts – who are third in the Scottish Premiership – Gordon believes that regular football has put the 30-year-old in a strong position.
“He (Clark) has done a lot for the team since he came in, he’s been very solid, made some saves and got a few clean sheets as well which has really helped over this period,” Gordon exclusively told Sky Sports.
“He’s now playing regular football and there aren’t many Scottish goalkeepers who are playing regularly, so he’s put himself in a good position for the internationals coming up.
“Steve Clarke will make that decision, there are a few that will have their eye on it and will want to play well to give themselves that opportunity.
“It’s going to be a tough call for the manager, but I’m sure he’ll make the right choice.”
Could Gordon return next season?
Gordon, however, could be back for Scotland’s final Euro 2024 qualifiers as he targets a return to action “early next season” following that horror injury against Dundee United.
The 40-year-old told Sky Sports: “It was Christmas Eve the injury happened, and I got taken to the hospital that night and put in a ward and my operation was the next day, so Christmas Day was my operation.
“I spent that up in Dundee where the injury happened, so it was difficult for the whole family, the kids, they didn’t open their Christmas presents until I came back down the road from Dundee. I think it was the 27th I got back.
“Everybody’s Christmas was a little bit ruined so I feel a bit responsible for that, but the kids were happy to see me when I did come back from the hospital, and we had our Christmas dinner about a week late.
“I’ve to go back and see the surgeon at the end of this month and I’ll get more scans taken at that point, and that will be when I’ll maybe have a little bit better idea of how quickly I can get back from this.
“I’m hoping to be back early next season. But, at the moment, I’m just pushing as hard as I can between now and then in the gym and I’ll take the advice from the doctors when I see them and then see what the possible return date after that is.”
Confirmed Scottish Premiership fixtures live on Sky Sports
Saturday March 18: Motherwell vs Rangers, kick-off 12.30pm
Sunday April 2: Ross County vs Celtic, kick-off 12pm
Saturday April 8: Celtic vs Rangers, kick-off 12.30pm
Sunday April 9: Dundee United vs Hibernian, kick-off 12pm
Friday April 14: Ross County vs Aberdeen, kick-off 7.45pm
Sunday April 16: Kilmarnock vs Celtic, kick-off 12pm
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