St Johnstone's Richard Foster says he and Zander Clark merited Scotland call

St Johnstone's Zander Clark and Richard Foster
Zander Clark (left) and Richard Foster have helped Saints to five wins and five clean sheets in a row

Richard Foster believes being at "unfashionable" St Johnstone worked against himself and Zander Clark being called up for Scotland.

Goalkeeper Clark was overlooked as Kilmarnock's Jamie MacDonald then Celtic's Scott Bain were added to Alex McLeish's squad as injury replacements.

Right-back Foster thought he might also have benefitted after the withdrawal of Kilmarnock's Stephen O'Donnell.

"If you look at the squad now, there's no natural right-back," he said.

"It is always in the back of your mind as a player - you want to play for Scotland and I came off the pitch on Saturday and thought that maybe there was a chance."

St Johnstone are only three points behind leaders Celtic in the Scottish Premiership following their 4-0 win over Hamilton Academical, one point behind Kilmarnock.

But 33-year-old Foster, who believes O'Donnell benefitted from the high-profile of Rugby Park manager Steve Clarke, has only been called up by Scotland once, as an injury replacement while with Bristol City in 2012, without being capped.

"But now I'm playing probably the best football of my career, the most consistent football of my career and we've come off of a great run - five clean sheets, five wins in a row - and the only recognised right-back in the squad pulled out through injury," he said.

"St Johnstone are essentially a very unfashionable team. Everyone looks at us and thinks they just tackle and kick people and get the results, but I think we play better football than a lot of people give us credit for."

Callum Paterson is in the squad for Scotland's Nations League group deciders against Albania and Israel - and, although the Cardiff City man has played right-back previously, Foster points out that he is presently operating in an attacking midfield role.

He also believes that 26-year-old Clark merited a call-up instead of Bain, who was called in after an injury to his club side's number one, Craig Gordon, pointing out that his team-mate has had more clean sheets than his rival has had Celtic appearances - four - this season.

"Zander's probably a bit disappointed," he added. "You look at the five clean sheets, but also the whole season - he's been making big saves.

"Even if you look at the Celtic game, it was 6-0, but it would have been 10 if it wasn't for Zander.

"Liam Kelly comes into that bracket as well. He's had seven clean sheets with Livingston."

What about David Marshall? - analysis

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald

"Scott Bain has shown, when he has been called upon, he's up to the task.

"He has played on big occasions. He's played in Old Firm games, he's played under pressure.

"As a manager, you are going to take the one who has had that kind of experience."

Former Scotland midfielder Michael Stewart

"If you look at the call-up of Jamie MacDonald - that was the one that was going to be Zander Clark or Jamie MacDonald.

"With Craig Gordon dropping out, I wouldn't have been calling up Scott Bain. I would have been calling up David Marshall.

"What happens if Allan McGregor gets injured? There's David Marshall, who is experienced, he's back playing at the top level with Hull City, he's had three clean sheets in his last four games."


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