Russia v Scotland: Lawrence Shankland out to 'surprise' naysayers

Lawrence Shankland is included in the Scotland squad for the first time
Lawrence Shankland is included in the Scotland squad for the first time
Euro 2020 qualifying: Russia v Scotland
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow Date: Thursday, 10 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Lawrence Shankland hopes he can "surprise" doubters if he is given his Scotland debut against in Moscow on Thursday.

The Dundee United striker is the only Scottish second tier player in Steve Clarke's squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Russia and San Marino.

Former Scotland striker Kris Boyd said last week it was a "sad indictment" of the national game.

"People are always going to have their opinion," said Shankland.

"If players of that calibre are taking notice of you it's good and you can take the advice if it's given.

"I see people's point of view that it's the second tier of Scottish football but John McGinn has done it before [when he was with Hibernian during their spell in the Scottish Championship] and it can happen.

"If I'm given the opportunity I'll be looking to surprise people if I can. You can just do your best if you get the opportunity, and if it works out it works out."

Shankland could very well find him starting in Moscow with the news on Monday that Oli McBurnie has dropped out the squad, being replaced by midfielder Stuart Armstrong.

The 24-year-old has started his first season at Tannadice in scintillating form, scoring 15 goals in 13 matches.

He said the reality of now being part of the national set-up has been a "surreal experience" and the forward hopes he can act as an inspiration to other lower league players dreaming of the big stage.

"It wasn't something I was thinking about immediately," he added. "It was something I was working towards eventually. It was in my mind it's something I wanted.

"The proof is there you can get a call up no matter what level you are playing at. If it inspires people then I'll be glad to be that person they are looking at."

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Watch: One of Shankland's 15 goals this season

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