Kevin Nisbet 'will definitely get Scotland call again', says Hibs No.2
Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet has been backed to reclaim his place in the Scotland squad after missing out on the selection for the Euro 2024 qualifying double-header later this month against Cyprus and Spain.
The 25-year-old’s form in front of goal since returning to full fitness following ten months on the sidelines with a medial ligament injury prompted many to predict a recall to Steve Clarke’s group for the forward, who has so far earned ten caps since making his debut as a substitute in a 4–0 win against the Faroe Islands in March 2021.
But when the squad was announced earlier this week, the listed forwards were Jacob Brown of Stoke City, Bournemouth’s Ryan Christie, Lyndon Dykes of QPR, and Southampton’s Ché Adams, with no place for Nisbet despite his form since he announced his return to action with a goal against Rangers at Ibrox.
Discussing his squad selection Clarke said that Hearts forward Lawrence Shankland had also been in his thought but that the return to fitness of Dykes, who was recently hospitalised through illness, had come as a surprise.
"Lawrence was right at the front of my mind. Probably the fact that he's picked up a little injury might just have swayed me to go the other way. I’ve got Lyndon back, and I wasn't really expecting him to be fit,” Clarke said.
Speaking ahead of Hibs’ trip to face Celtic, with Nisbet in contention to start for the first time since the 1-1 draw with Ross County on January 31, Hibs assistant boss Jamie McAllister admitted that there had been an air of disappointment when the striker didn’t make the final cut, despite being under consideration and included in the preliminary squad.
"We'd heard that he was in consideration for the squad; he was in their thinking. Kevin was on a hot streak during December-January when he scored the six in six, he had a little setback with not getting the move with that falling through, and then he's had a few little tweaks,” McAllister explained.
"We need to make sure he is right, but I think that will come. Nizzy has got the quality. He is clinical, he's experienced for his age, he's proven at the level. He'll get that opportunity again. He'll definitely get it again.”