Cyprus v Scotland: Oliver Burke wants to put himself in 'shop window'

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland
Scotland's Burke on Alaves & West Brom
Euro 2020 qualifying: Cyprus v Scotland
Venue: GSP Stadium, Nicosia Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website & app

Oliver Burke hopes regular game time in Spain's top-flight will help him regain his Scotland place in Cyprus and put him "in the shop window".

The forward, who started the year on loan to Celtic, has been farmed out to Alaves after failing to become a regular West Bromwich Albion starter.

He was Steve Clarke's choice up front as Scotland lost 4-0 to Russia but was injured for the win over San Marino.

"Game time is the most important thing for me - it's coming slowly," he said.

"I'm happy with where I am now and getting the game time. It's such a great league as well, so I'm very happy."

Lawrence Shankland goal in Burke's absence against San Marino was the first by a Scotland striker in five games since the latter's late winner over Cyprus at Hampden in June.

Head coach Clarke faces another difficult choice for Saturday's Euro 2020 Group I qualifier in Nicosia.

Oliver McBurnie has been on Sheffield United's bench for the last four games, Steven Naismith made his first start for Hearts on Saturday after long-term injury, while Shankland's prolific scoring has come in Scotland's second tier with Dundee United.

Since that defeat in Moscow, Burke has come on as a substitute five times for the side sitting 14th in the 20-strong La Liga and played 30 minutes of Saturday's 3-0 win over Real Valladolid.

"It's going very well, I'm really enjoying it," the former Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig forward said.

"I wouldn't say it's far different from leagues in other countries I've played in. I think maybe some tactical things, and the language barrier, but I feel like I'm learning a lot and they've made me very welcome."

Burke, 22, will be out of contract with West Brom when his loan spell with Alaves ends - something he describes as "very difficult".

"I've been there so long, but then I've not actually played many games for them, so you almost feel like you are not part of that team because I've been to other clubs and been on loan," he said.

"I just have to focus on this loan I'm on now and take it all in and hopefully good things come from me going on loan now and getting game time. Hopefully it puts me in the shop window.

"I'd love to be a club and be the first name on the team-sheet every week, but I think it will come in time. I'm still at a good age and I'm just doing everything I can to learn the game."

My Scotland XI to face Cyprus

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