Ryan Fraser revealed it was his decision not to face Kazakhstan – and the Scotland wide player insisted he had little choice.
The Bournemouth winger sat out Scotland’s 3-0 defeat in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier in the Astana Arena after manager Alex McLeish declared both Fraser and Callum Paterson would be left out under an agreement with their clubs that they will not feature on artificial pitches.
Both returned for Sunday’s 2-0 victory in San Marino with Fraser playing 90 minutes and setting up Kenny McLean’s early opener.
Paterson lasted little more than half an hour before going off injured after landing awkwardly on the grass pitch.
Fraser suffered a knee ligament injury during training with Scotland Under-21s which kept him out for several months in 2015 while Paterson suffered cruciate damage in his final game for Hearts before moving to Cardiff.
The pair were criticised by former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher but Fraser was unrepentant.
“Obviously you want to play in every game but I couldn’t play in the game,” the 25-year-old said.
“I’ve had four or five injuries on an artificial pitch and, look, from my club, to me, to Scotland, it’s just one of those where I couldn’t play on it. If I do a knee, if I do anything like that … it’s a decision I made.”
Scotland failed to build on McLean’s header and it took them until the 74th minute to get a second, but Fraser claimed they dealt well with the challenge posed by the lowest-ranked team in international football.
“We said before the game, it didn’t really matter if we won 5-0, I don’t think it was going to change much,” the former Aberdeen player said.