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Sir Kenny Dalglish: Calvin has given Steve another full-back puzzler

© SNS GroupSteve Clarke will be delighted by the progress Calvin Ramsay (inset) has made at Liverpool.
Steve Clarke will be delighted by the progress Calvin Ramsay (inset) has made at Liverpool.

A lot has been made about Celtic players not being made available for Scotland’s friendly in Turkey on Wednesday night.

I understand the stance taken by the Parkhead club.

They’ve signed a contract to take a squad to Australia for a tournament, and they are taking their best players.

It will also be a part of their preparation for the second-half of the campaign as they try to retain the title and get back into the Champions League.

With this date not being officially recognised in the international calendar, Ange Postecoglou is perfectly within his rights.

I’ve no doubt that had this been a competitive game – or preparation for going to the World Cup – then any Celtic player called up would be with their country.

I get Steve Clarke’s frustration, of course I do. But there is no point in dwelling on who will not be there.

Let’s be positive about the players who will be on the flight.

The absence of the likes of Callum McGregor will give the Scotland manager an opportunity to assess other players closely.

That should be viewed as a positive, and it’s a chance for someone to maybe emerge from the shadows.

For example, Anthony Ralston not being available has opened the door for Calvin Ramsay to be selected.

Calvin played for Liverpool in the Carabao Cup win against Derby County last midweek.

He had an injury when he signed from Aberdeen in the summer, and everybody has had to be patient.

But there has never been any doubt about his talent, and Calvin has made a positive impression on everyone at Anfield.

He now gives Steve another excellent option at right-back.

In Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney, we have two outstanding operators on the left-hand side. Greg Taylor has also looked the part for Celtic in that area of the field in the last year.

Now, we have Calvin, Nathan Patterson and Aaron Hickey all trying to be the No. 1 right-back.

Aaron can also play anywhere along a back four or five. So it’s strong competition, and so encouraging for Steve to have so many brilliant options on both flanks.

Steve would have been delighted to see Calvin play for Liverpool the other night. And I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will be happy if Calvin gets game-time under his belt in Turkey in midweek.

Jurgen was also delighted with Ben Doak’s debut for Liverpool. He came on as a sub and made a really good contribution.

Ben was signed from Celtic in the summer and turned 17 a few days ago. Remember, he is also Scottish.

He is an exciting prospect, and has performed very well in the Champions League at youth level in the past couple of months.

So both Calvin and Ben haven’t done themselves any harm whatsoever.

And what a thrill it must have been for both of them to play in front of a full house at Anfield, knowing that every Liverpool supporter was willing them on.

The more young Scots we have playing at a high level, the better.

That’s great for Steve and great for Scotland.

As much as we’re all disappointed not to be at the World Cup Finals, we need to have the right attitude going forward and be focused.

That’s why Steve will make the most of the next few days he has with the players, and he’ll be looking for a positive performance and result in Turkey.

Due to our Nations League campaign, we have guaranteed a play-off place for the right to qualify for Euro 2024 in Germany.

But it would be great if we could get there without needing that fall-back position.

Our campaign starts in March, and we are looking to get the better of the likes of Spain and Norway.

That will not, be easy but we should not fear the tasks ahead. We have some very good players and we have a great spirit in the squad.

We can do it.