Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson expects to be without star striker Lawrence Shankland next month.
The Tannadice gaffer is backing the club’s top scorer to continue his tremendous start to life at the club by earning another international call for Scotland’s final two Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Kazakhstan.
That would see Shankland missing for United’s home clash with Queen of the South at Tannadice on November 16 due to the national side’s clash with the Cypriots on the same day.
However, the Tangerines boss sees only the positive side of Shankland’s emergence on the international scene.
Robbie said: “We will miss him for one of the games next month and that’s the downside of all this. It is, though, great for the club overall.
“The kids supporting the club have somebody they can look up to now and it’s been a long time since there has been a guy here at United playing at that level for Scotland.
“It is about the bigger picture for us. We will miss him but it’s not just about one player for us. We have other guys that can come in, that have come in this season.”
Robbie hopes Shankland is just the first of many over the coming years to get international recognition while wearing a United shirt.
“What it does is show that there is a pathway there from club to country,” he added.
“The younger players we have brought to United will see that. The older ones will know that there is an opportunity for them to help their team-mates get there.
“Lawrence is a nice character and the group here at Tannadice have taken to him and wish him well.
“I spoke to Steve Clarke before he took him into the squad – we just had a blether about Lawrence – and I said then that he would be able to move up to that level.
“I felt he could take the step-up and I think he proved that.”
Shankland rejoined his club team-mates for training at the start of the week and is expected to lead the line at Palmerston on Saturday.
n DUNDEE United boss Robbie Neilson and assistant coaches Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest will sign contract extensions at Tannadice today.