SCOTLAND players who ask not to be considered by Alex McLeish may never be picked to play for the national team again.

Peter Grant, the assistant manager, insisted that anyone who declares themselves unavailable for selection would be "very, very fortunate" to play for Scotland in the future.

Of course, should McLeish be replaced at any time, then a new manager might take a different view on Matt Ritchie, Leigh Griffiths and Robert Snodgrass.

But these three, and there may well be more in the future, could well have ended their international careers.

Asked whether this trio and any other players might not be welcomed back, Grant said: "I think that’s what you have seen. You will have noticed that with some of the selections we have had . . . that's what has happened. There was no doubt about that.

"Myself, Alex and James [McFadden] see a situation where the ultimate for us was to get picked for the national team.

"If you don’t want to play, no problem. We’re not going to force you, we’re not going to fight and ask you to come. If you don’t want to play for your national team, that’s it. You will be very, very fortunate if you get selected again.

"If you don’t want to play through injuries, that’s completely different. But if it’s down to the fact that you don’t want to play, I don’t think you will be back in. You know how proud Alex was to get the caps he did. He still hasn’t retired yet."

Grant insisted the management team's only priority was the players they had and beating Albania and Israel in the Nations League double-header.

Ryan Jack of Rangers pulled out of the squad less than 24 hours after being called up and Aberdeen defender Michael Devlin is almost certainly out through injury.

David Bates, a regular with Hamburg in German football's second tier, is now with the squad and in line to make his Scotland debut in Albania on Saturday.

“Of course you want everyone available, you hope people get through their [club] games," said Grant. “You can talk about build-ups and systems once you’ve picked your squad. But until the last club game is played beforehand, then it’s always a concern.

“This time there have been unforeseen circumstances, guys you’re bringing in are going back with injuries. So that’s disappointing.

“But you have to deal with it. We know we’ve got quality players here and you just hope when the games come everyone’s prepared and ready.

“We can’t make excuses. We’ve been in football long enough and we know injuries are part of the game."

Grant had no qualms about former Rangers centre-half Bates, 22, going straight into a game that Scotland cannot afford to lose.

"Absolutely he could play," said Grant. "Everybody comes into the squad with a chance. David Bates was here at the hotel before us – that’s how enthusiastic he was to be here.

“But he’s got a talent as well. He’s gone to Germany, he’s got a belief in himself in that’s what he wanted to do.

“It’s hard to leave a club like Rangers, let’s be perfectly honest, for a young man. But he did that, went over to Germany and we spoke to his coach who is delighted with him.

“But we’ve got no qualms about him. He’s fitted in with the boys. But he knows them. It’s not as if he’s been away for a long time and doesn’t know these players.

“He’s settled in well with these players and he’s trained very well.”