SCOTLAND boss Steve Clarke has revealed Greg Taylor is “carrying a little injury”.

The international gaffer was responding to criticism for leaving the in-form Celtic defender out of his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain at Hampden.

Captain Callum McGregor is the solitary representative from the champions with Clarke reasoning Anthony Ralston and David Turnbull have not had enough game time as they recover from injury.

Evergreen winger James Forrest, of course, is injured and will be out until after the international break.

BY THE LEFT…Greg Taylor in action during Celtic’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win at Tynecastle.

The Scots chief has ex-Celt Kieran Tierney and Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, the country’s onfield leader, at his disposal and has taken the opportunity to rest the 25-year-old Hoops left-back.

Reacting to the surprise omission, Clarke, speaking to the Daily Record, explained: “I have had a chat with Greg.

“It is really a Celtic issue, more than for me to comment on. He is carrying a little injury.

“He will probably benefit from a rest rather than coming away with the national team. Celtic should elaborate on that a little bit.”

No doubt the club will get around to endorsing the words of the international manager.

Taylor was left out of Ange Postecoglou’s squad for the 3-1 league win over Hearts last midweek, but returned for the 3-0 Scottish Cup victory over the same opponents at Tynecastle on Saturday.

GREEN FOR GO…Alexandro Bernabei is a ready-made replacement for Greg Taylor.

He is likely to be in place for the visit of Hibs this weekend, but the Hoops boss has Alexandro Bernabei, a £3.75million recruit from Argentina top-flight side Lanus in the summer, on stand-by.

The champions’ next league match after the encounter with the Easter Road team is in Dingwall for the Sunday April 2 meeting with Ross County.

Taylor will have been given plenty of opportunity to recharge the batteries in time for the crucial run-in to the season with a treble up for grabs.

The Scots face Cyprus a week on Saturday and Spain three days later, both at the national stadium.

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