JOHN Carver has pledged not to intervene in Scotland’s pursuit of Elliot Anderson despite his long-standing relationship with the Newcastle United midfielder and called for the gifted youngster to be given time to decide on his international future.

Former St James’s Park coach and caretaker manager Carver has known Anderson, who qualifies to play for this country through a paternal grandmother, since he was a young boy and has monitored his rise through the ranks closely.

He was pleased when the 20-year-old contacted Steve Clarke through a third party and indicated he would be open to a call-up – and when the Whitley Bay-born kid joined the squad ahead of the double header against Cyprus and England last month.

England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted he is also interested in the youngster and Anderson, who has established himself as a regular starter in Eddie Howe’s team in the past couple of seasons, is not in the Scotland set-up for the Euro 2024 qualifier against Spain and friendly with France.

READ MOREBilly Gilmour looks to pile more pain on Spain and Ansu Fati

But Carver said: “We have to respect and give him the time to make his decision. He’s a young lad, he’s developing as a player and developing in the right direction. He needs to be given a little bit of time with his family.

“We’ve not put him under any pressure whatsoever. I think that’s the best way to deal with it and we’ll see how it progresses in the future. We can talk about Elliot, but it’s about the people who are here and we put our energy into that.

“I normally keep my distance anyway, but Newcastle’s my football club and I was at the Champions League game the other night. When he came on he was quite effective in the game, but it’s not for me to get involved. I’ve not spoken to anyone at the football club, I’ve not spoken to him or his family, it’s about giving him time.

“The door’s open. We never put him under pressure before we called him into the squad, they came to us. So we’ll have to wait and see. We respect the fact he’s so young. It’s a big decision and we can’t get involved in that. We let them make the decision.”

The National: Elliot Anderson drives forward during Newcastle's recent Premier League win over Brentford

Carver added: “We’re always looking to improve it. We’re always searching, don’t worry about that. Whenever I go to a game I speak to people in the director’s box, even fans sometimes, to try and find out if there’s anyone out there.

“You have to search. Sometimes people come forward with information, but the information’s not true. But you can never stop searching because you always hope to find a hidden gem.

“Newcastle have a few. As well as Elliot there is Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento. They’re out there and if they’re good enough I’m sure Steve will try to get them in the squad. But it has to be a two-way thing, for sure.

“This squad’s improved over time, they continue to improve and we never rest on our laurels.  We’re always looking for better, raise the standard. So for them to get into the group they have to be special.”

READ MOREScotland keeper steeled for Seville heat thanks to Millwall matches

Meanwhile, Carver has stressed that Ben Doak, who has featured for Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League this season, needs to play more for the Scotland Under-21 side before he can make the step up to the senior squad.

“He’s another one who’s definitely on the radar,” he said. “But as part of his development it’s important he gets game time. He’s in with Scot (Gemmill) in the under-21s and it’s better he gets competitive international football before we bring him with us.

“We’ve got Spain then France, a top Pot 1 side. Would he get any game time? I’m not so sure. But he’ll definitely get game time with the 21s. He’s another one that’s on the radar. He’s had good progress, he’s been in and out with little flashes, we’ve got the connection with Robbo (Scotland captain Andy Robertson) so there’s communication all the time.”