Scotland have been handed a selection setback ahead of the upcoming international break with the news that Matt Ritchie has asked to be left out of the squad for ‘private reasons’, but Alex McLeish has insisted that the winger has not retired from international duty.
Newcastle United star Ritchie has been omitted from the Scotland setup at his own request ahead of the upcoming November break for international matches, which will see McLeish’s side take on Albania and Israel in the UEFA Nations League.
Ritchie has won 16 caps for the Scots, but the 29-year-old has withdrawn from McLeish’s latest squad. The Scotland manager said of Ritchie’s situation, via the Daily Mail: “Matt wanted to be left out for the foreseeable future.
“It’s private. It’s not something for me to discuss. He had injury issues as well and, again, there is management of his injuries.
“I wanted Matt to come in, but he has asked to be left out at the moment.
“He has not retired or anything. You don’t know everyone’s private life so you have to respect that.
“I think if you spoke to the people concerned you would be accommodating as well.”
Ritchie has continued to be an integral figure under Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park this season, missing just one of Newcastle’s matches so far in the current campaign, and remains one of the Magpies’ key figures in their troubled fight against relegation this term.
Newcastle’s season so far has been blighted by problems both on and off the pitch, though their much needed 1-0 win over Watford last weekend pulled Benitez’s side out of the bottom three as the Magpies secured their first win of the Premier League season.