Scotland scouting Burnley's Scott Arfield and Fulham's Jack Grimmer

Burnley's Scott Arfield and Fulham's Jack Grimmer have played themselves into Scotland contention, according to assistant coach Mark McGhee.

Gordon Strachan's assistant has already watched 26-year-old Arfield with Burnley in the English Premier League, while he will have a look at 20-year-old former Aberdeen defender Grimmer in Fulham's Championship clash with Nottingham Forest at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

Scotland's next European Championship qualifier is against Gibraltar at Hampden Park on March 29, days after a warm-up friendly against Northern Ireland.

McGhee will make sure Strachan is abreast of all the form players before he names his squad although he admits the current incumbents will take some shifting.

The former Aberdeen and Motherwell manager told Press Association Sport: "On Wednesday night I am going to look at Jack Grimmer, who has now got himself into the Fulham team at right back, to see how he is doing and I have been a couple of times recently to watch Scott Arfield at Burnley.

"These are boys who are getting good reviews down the road and who therefore deserve consideration.

"Now what they have to do is displace people who are already there. One of the most difficult jobs is for the likes of Scott Arfield. In the middle of the park we have Scott Brown, Charlie Mulgrew, James Morrison and James McArthur, a group in our strongest area of the team so he has to get in ahead of them.

"And even if you play him in a wider role where he plays a lot for Burnley, you then have the likes of Graham Dorrans who is doing well for his club.

"He has to get ahead of them but we will do our due diligence and when Gordon starts to finalise his squad we will be considering what we have seen up until then, to know if we will bring them in or not."

It is almost two years since Strachan and McGhee took charge of Scotland for the first time, after replacing Craig Levein who had taken just two points from four 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

After a 1-0 friendly win over Estonia at Pittodrie, the 2-1 defeat by Wales at Hampden Park and a 2-0 loss in Serbia confirmed that the Scots would not be going to Brazil.

The former Aberdeen and Motherwell boss admits he and Strachan were left "gutted" following the game against the Serbs.

However, he insists those defeats proved a pivotal point in their thinking, with the subsequent improvement in performances resulting in Scotland sitting third in Euro qualifying Group D behind Poland and Germany, as the halfway point of the qualification process looms.

McGhee said: "After the Wales and Serbia games we were gutted. I don't think we actually said the word but I am pretty sure Gordon thought the same as me.

"We went into those two games thinking if we could win them then we might still be in with a shout [of qualifying] but we lost them badly, albeit we feel the Wales game was there to be won until [Robert Snodgrass] got sent off.

"The fact was we lost it and against Serbia we got gubbed.

"It was a terrible night. I remember talking to Gordon about style and sophistication and how with these teams, their movement is so much varied, exciting and dynamic than we see our teams play.

"Gordon and I were determined from that point to bring a more sophisticated style.

"One of the things that has pleased more than anything about the development over that period after the Serbia game is that we have established a style of play.

"From game to game we will play it better or worse but it will look the same although within that there will be innovation.

"So I do think Gordon has brought the team on the point where, if nothing else, we have established a way of playing and that is something to build on."