Gordon Strachan believes any player showing a hint of unwillingness to declare for a country should be shown the door.
Speaking to Pundit Arena on Tuesday, the former Scotland boss shared his own experience with indecisive players when quizzed about the Declan Rice situation. Strachan was as steadfast as ever, referencing a number of incidents when he was at the helm for Scotland.
“I spoke to one or two players that could qualify for Scotland, and then, after speaking to them, I thought ‘hmmm nah’. There was too much indecision, he’s waiting for England or Wales to come along. So I decided not to pursue them any further.
“It’s quite simple. If I spoke to a player and felt that they felt Scottish, it doesn’t matter what you say, they are Scottish.”
The former Celtic boss continued:
“I always felt that I could sniff it in the first meeting with players. ‘Oh, he doesn’t fancy it, I’m not bothered anymore’. If there’s any indecision and they feel like that then that’s fine, the camp is better in the long run without them.
“You’ll feel better as a supporter too when you know everyone is onside, that’s for sure.”
Declan Rice’s highly publicised switch of allegiance is back in the news this week, as the West Ham youngster looks set to make his England bow against the Czech Republic on Friday.
“It’s the same with (that situation). It’s the same with being Irish. If you don’t feel Irish, then don’t play with Ireland. If you feel Irish, then play.
“If you have an identity with Ireland, then play. If you like the people, you like the whole thing, then play. If you’re not committed, then don’t. Simple as that.
“It’s unfair to use a nation just to get international football.”
— England (@England) March 18, 2019
Strachan also spoke to Pundit Arena about his time at Coventry City, where he managed current Republic of Ireland assistant, Robbie Keane.
“I’ve been close to Robbie since then. He was a wonderful, wonderful player.
“Unfortunately Robbie only stayed with us for 11 months. He wanted to go to Inter Milan and play with Ronaldo, I couldn’t believe it.”
Stay tuned to Pundit Arena this week as we provide the latest updates from Irish camp, as well as more from our chat with Gordon Strachan.
Gordon Strachan is a Paddy Power ambassador, read his columns on Paddy Power News.