Steve Clarke’s right back woes with Celtic’s Tony Ralston the solution

Steve Clarke endured a double injury blow on Monday as it was confirmed Lewis Ferguson had injured his knee and Nathan Patterson limped off. The Bologna midfielder and Everton defender would’ve almost certainly been in Clarke’s squad of 23 for this summer’s European Championships; however, these injuries means that they will likely miss the trip to Germany.

Fortunately for Clarke, he is well stocked in midfield and will be able to continue with his preferred starting XI. Notwithstanding that the player is a loss, it is one that can be more effectively managed by the Scotland’s manager.

Patterson, meanwhile, represents a real concern for the former West Brom manager. With Aaron Hickey recovering from injury and Brentford boss Thomas Frank conceding that he doesn’t think the full-back will feature again this season, Patterson was expected to be the first pick. However, his hamstring injury in the 6-0 defeat to Chelsea on Monday night appears to cast severe doubts on whether he’ll be on the plane to Germany.

IMAGO Photo by Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock Gustaf Lagerbielke and Anthony Ralston of Celtic celebrate as the final whistle sounds. Final score Rangers 0 Celtic 1. Rangers v Celtic, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Ibrox , – 03 September 2023

One man that has been in and around the Scotland team is Tony Ralston. The Celtic defender is not one that often attracts the attention but his diligence, drive and professionalism is exactly what Clarke looks for in his teams.

The only issue for Ralston is that his game time has been limited this season, owing mainly to injuries across the backline. Despite this, whenever he has been called upon, he has been solid and dependable.

The 25-year-old has 8 caps and 1 goal for Scotland and Clarke will likely bring him as part of the 23-man squad, especially now that he has been elevated in the pecking order for right back options. Although, Max Johnson and Ross McCrorie will also be on Clarke’s radar as the manager looks to mitigate the potential loss of both Hickey and Patterson.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

1 Comment

  1. I’m sure the SFA will be making sure that Clark looks far and wide rather than have the young Celtic man as his first chiice right back! They’ll scour all sorts rather than play Ralston! They’ve had Patterson in there when frankly, he isn’t the player Ralston is. He doesn’t have the game winning qualities of Ralston and is only preferred over Tony because of where he came from. Where they BOTH came from!
    Things never changed with the SFA in this regard as far back as I can remember.
    Danny McGrain, widely recognized as the best fullback in the world sat on the bench a couple of times at the expense of Jardine from across the city. This was until they realized Danny could be equally effective on the left. So instead of playing the best right back in the world in his natural position, in order to accommodate their establishment order, Willie Donnachie, one of the best left backs in Europe at the time, had to sit on the bench because it was obvious Danny had to play!
    While Tony Ralston is no Danny McGrain, he is the best of Scotland’s right backs! Play him and stop being so damn stubborn!
    You are already destroying our game by mollycoddling your order!