Steve Clarke has hailed Lawrence Shankland for his commitment to Scotland as he hinted the Hearts captain could be in line for a Hampden start against Norway.

The former Aberdeen and Dundee United man was a late call-up to the international set-up this break after Southampton’s Che Adams pulled out through injury.

Shankland was then thrown on in Georgia as Scotland were searching for an equaliser against their Group A opponents and the 28-year-old produced exactly that when he nodded home at the back post in Tbilisi in the 93rd minute.

Clarke refused to be drawn on whether that goal has helped Shankland’s chances of booking his place on the plane to Germany for Euro 2024, but he admitted that the frontman is always in his thoughts.

He explained: “Lawrence is always in my thoughts. What’s that goal done for him? It’s made him smile. It has made everyone smile.

“It was an important goal for us. We had Lyndon on the pitch and he ran himself into the ground like he always does.

“He had a couple of chances with headers and we were looking for a goal against a team defending on their 18-yard box. I had a choice between Lawrence and Jacob Brown.

“If a chance is going to fall on the box, who do you want it to fall to? Probably Lawrence. He got the goal but they are all in my thoughts for the Norway match.

“I spoke to Jacob about the decision. I do try to speak to them about things. I don’t explain all of my decisions as I would spend all my time doing that.

“But if I feel that I need to have a chat about a certain situation, that’s what I do.”

Clarke has already admitted that he will have some tough choices to make when the Euros comes around next summer, and the striking department could be one of his problem areas.

Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes look dead certs, and Shankland may now have played himself into the reckoning after his key goal in Georgia.

Clarke added: “I rely on all my players all the time - that’s why I pick them.

“We have a good relationship. Lawrence has been in and out of squads but he is a player who when you need him and call him in late one night, he’s there the next morning.

“That’s a boy who wants to do well for his country and we appreciate that.”