Steve Clarke says goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald’s Scotland call-up is the Kilmarnock number one’s reward for years of consistency.
Sunderland stopper Jon McLaughlin was originally included by Alex McLeish in the 23-man group selected for this month’s crucial Nations League double-header against Albania and Israel.
But with the Black Cats facing an important League One clash with Wycombe on November 17 – the same day the Scots play in Shkode – McLaughlin has been spared international duty, with his place going to 32-year-old MacDonald.
The former Hearts keeper has 10 Scotland Under-21 caps but has never been capped at senior level.
But Clarke says his keeper fully merits his inclusion.
He said: “It’s a good reward for Jamie for the level of consistency since I came into the club, so I’m delighted for him.
“He’s a model professional. He works well every day in training, good in the group, good in the dressing room, uses his experience well.
“So to get called up is a good little boost for Jamie at this stage in his career.
“The main goalkeepers that Scotland have used over the years have always been at a really high level so it’s always been difficult for other goalkeepers to get a look in.”