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Scotland players urged to put suspension threat to the back of the mind

Austria v Scotland – FIFA World Cup 2022 – European Qualifying – Group F – Ernst Happel Stadium
(Image credit: Florian Schrotter)

Scotland defender Liam Cooper feels his suspension-threatened team-mates need to forget about the prospect of getting a yellow card against Denmark.

Seven of Steve Clarke’s squad are one booking away from missing the play-off semi-final but Scotland are still looking for points to try to secure a home game in March.

Stephen O’Donnell, Andy Robertson, Jack Hendry, John McGinn, Che Adams, Billy Gilmour and Kevin Nisbet are all at risk of picking up a suspension.

Moldova v Scotland

Liam Cooper, left, and Billy Gilmour celebrate victory in Moldova on Friday

However, the Scotland boss has given a clear indication that he will not rest the affected players.

Leeds defender Cooper said: “Any player who tells you he doesn’t think about it is probably lying. But for me, when I have been on nine yellow cards or four yellow cards at my club, the best way is to forget about it. What will be, will be. It will take care of itself.

“I know boys don’t want to miss semi-finals and finals but it’s about getting there, and you can’t switch off.

“You have got to be at 100 per cent to be at your best and if you are thinking about things, who knows what happens? You might have an off night or get injured or anything like that.

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“You have got to be at 100 per cent and try and put it to the back of your mind.”

An eighth player on a booking, Scott McTominay, was ruled out through illness and Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous was called up late on Sunday evening to replace him.

Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston was earlier brought in to replace the suspended Nathan Patterson following the Rangers player’s yellow card in Friday’s 2-0 win in Moldova.

Striker Lyndon Dykes is a fitness doubt after joining up with the squad following suspension.

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