Scotland: Graeme Shinnie absence surprises Aberdeen boss

Aberdeen left-back Graeme Shinnie
Graeme Shinnie switched from Inverness Caledonian Thistle last summer

Gordon Strachan has omitted the best left-back in Scotland from his latest national squads, says a "surprised and disappointed" Derek McInnes.

Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie was a notable absentee from the national coach's two separate squads named for friendlies against Czech Republic and Denmark.

"I know Gordon can only pick so many, but I wouldn't swap him for anybody," said Dons boss McInnes.

"I think he's the best left-back in the country."

Celtic's 18-year-old left-back, Kieran Tierney, was one of six players - including Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean - to be called into a Scotland squad for the first time.

While Tierney was named for the squad to face Denmark on 29 March, Hull City's Andrew Robertson is the natural left-back in the party to take on Czech Republic five days earlier.

Versatile pair Steven Whittaker, of Norwich City, and Charlie Mulgrew, of Celtic, are also options for that role and are included in both squads.

"I'm so disappointed that he's not in it," said McInnes of 24-year-old Shinnie, who joined Aberdeen from Inverness Caledonian Thistle last summer. "I'm really surprised that he's not in it.

Aberdeen midfielders Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean
Ryan Jack did not make the Scotland squad, but Dons team-mate Kenny McLean has received his first call-up

"It is just the manager's preference. It is his job to pick the squad and, let's not kid ourselves, he's done the job very well.

"There is no criticism from me. I'm just disappointed for my own player but happy that Kenny's involved."

Aberdeen paid St Mirren £300,000 for McLean just over a year ago.

"I'm hoping Kenny goes and shows everybody at Scotland why we regard him so highly and why he's deserved his inclusion in the squad," said McInnes.

"The challenge for Kenny now is to continue to improve with us, as he has been with us all season, and be a regular.

"I think he's good enough to go and show that."

McInnes had also been hoping that McLean's fellow 24-year-old midfielder, Ryan Jack, would receive a first call up.

"Ryan's time will come, I firmly believe that," added the Dons manager. "He's just coming back from injury and it's maybe understandable why he's not in it.

"He's just come back two or three games ago there, but I expect him to be pushing to be in future squads."