Steve Clarke can appreciate Lawrence Shankland’s Euro 2020 heartbreak.
And the Scotland manager knows that being part of the squad which ended the nation’s long wait to get to a major tournament finals will make the pain for the Dundee United striker more acute.
Shankland wasn’t one of those who got a pre-squad announcement telephone call from Clarke.
But he did get a name-check for his efforts in the qualifying campaign.
“Anybody who was in the March squad that wasn’t going to make this one had to be the recipient of a not very nice phone call from myself,” said Clarke.
“So that took in Liam Palmer and Andy Considine – two tough conversations.
“I’ve got to say both took it as well as could be expected.
“I give them reasons. I tell them what the choice is and the thought process going through my head before they get there. I like to think they accept the reasons I give them.
“But I also accept their disappointment the same as I accept disappointment of a Leigh Griffiths, Callum Paterson, Lawrence Shankland and all of the boys who have been involved with us before that haven’t quite made the final cut.
“It’s difficult for them. But it’s my job as the manager to make that call and that’s what I have to do.”
Former United star Ryan Gauld has had a superb season in Portugal’s top flight but he was another to fall short.
Clarke said: “He is a good player who had a good season for his club.
“When you look at the area of the squad that Ryan is trying to get into, it’s difficult to fit in.
“There was obviously going to be difficult choices and unfortunately Ryan has missed out.”