Nottingham Forest defender Scott McKenna has outlined his fears that injury problems this season might have hampered his ability to make it into Scotland’s squad for this summer’s European championships.
McKenna had been sidelined through injury since a 2-1 defeat for the Reds against Reading back in January. However, the defender returned to action on Saturday with Chris Hughton electing to place him into the starting line-up following the injury to Joe Worrall. The Scotland international was able to deliver a strong performance on his return to the side in the 1-1 draw against the Royals.
However, Hughton also revealed that McKenna would need to be assessed by the club’s medical team before being picked for the Reds’ meeting with Norwich City on Wednesday. The defender will be desperate to play as many games as possible between now and the end of the campaign after helping his country qualify for the Euros in the summer.
Speaking to the Mirror, McKenna outlined that he fears that his recent injuries will mean that he is overlooked for the forthcoming international break and that he could also be left out of the squad for the Euros. However, he also insisted he would do all he can to stay in the Nottingham Forest team and give his nation’s manager something to think about.
He said: “I am delighted to be back out there.
“I’ve picked up a couple of injuries this season and missed far more games than I would have liked.
“It is very frustrating.
“I’ve only played four games since the start of December so whether I make the squad this month, I am not so sure.
“But certainly for the Euros, if I can stay fit for the rest of the season and just play as well as I can, hopefully I will give Steve Clarke a problem or a decision over whether he puts me in that squad.”
You have to feel for McKenna here because if he had been able to stay injury-free this season then he would have almost been guaranteed a place in the Scotland squad for the Euros. He had been enjoying a good run of form alongside Worrall at centre-back before his injury setback and now he needs to get back towards that level of performance.
The defender you feel is still amongst the very best options that Scotland boss Steve Clarke has available to him. It would therefore be a major risk to not include him within the squad, and the defender will be trying to do all he can to prove he is ready to play regularly between now and the end of the season.
Having a player of McKenna’s quality so motivated to play and perform to a high level can only be a boost for the Reds. Hughton will be looking to the defender to pick up where he left off and try and provide as much of a consistent presence as Worrall was doing prior to his latest injury setback.