Celtic midfielder David Turnbull confident he can step up for Scotland

Aberdeen v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Celtic’s David Turnbull has told Steve Clarke he is ready for a Euro 2020 call-up after the Scotland boss was hit by another blow to his midfield.

Norwich’s Kenny McLean has been ruled out of the delayed European Championship this summer after the knee injury he sustained in Saturday’s final Sky Bet Championship game of the season at Barnsley has ruled him out for three months.

Ryan Jack of Rangers is also unavailable out after he underwent an operation to fix a persistent calf problem.

Ahead of the penultimate Premiership game of the season at home to St Johnstone on Wednesday night, Turnbull, arguably Celtic’s best player this season after joining from Motherwell last August, was asked if he is ready to plug the gap in Clarke’s 26-man squad.

The Scotland under-21 midfielder said: “Of course, I would. I have played a lot of games this season and have been around the under-21s.

“Of course it is different going up to the senior level but I feel as if I am ready to do that, yes.

“Every young boy dreams of playing for Scotland and (after) qualifying for the first major finals in 20-plus years, it would be great and a dream come true. That’s what everybody looks to do.

“It is a shame for the boys who are injured, bad injuries at a bad time, so I feel for them.

“It opens up doors for other players, whether it is me or other boys.

“Obviously I would be delighted if it was me but I will just need to wait and see. I go out there every week to try to impress.

“Whether he (Clarke) is watching or not, I will try to go out there and try to play the way I do every game and we will see what happens. Fingers are crossed.”

Interim Hoops boss John Kennedy is equally confident of 21-year-old Turnbull’s ability to step up to the senior Scotland squad.

He said: “I think he has shown he is ready to perform at that level. He has been terrific for us.

“Technically he is more than good enough to play at an elite level and he has improved his performances with us as the season has progressed.

“Whether Steve decides to take him or not will be his call but certainly from our side, we would give him all the backing and support. Is he ready? In my opinion he is.”

Celtic are still searching for a new boss following Neil Lennon’s resignation in February, with Eddie Howe still the frontrunner but Kennedy said: “There isn’t an update to give you.”

“You would always rather have clarity,” he added.

“It is a difficult situation we are in, one that we have not really faced before in terms of the time that has gone by now with the uncertainty of what is going on with a lot of situations and a lot of personnel.

“But again we, as best we can, have all had to park that and do the best for the club.”

Kennedy is expecting a test against Callum Davidson’s Betfred Cup holders, who booked a place in the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian with a 2-1 win over St Mirren on Sunday.

He said: “They will be a team that will be highly motivated. They are having a terrific season.

“I know Callum well, he is a very humble guy but the job he has done there is absolutely terrific. We expect a tough game.”

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