CRAIG LEVEIN today announced the Scotland squad for the upcoming carling nations cup matches. Russell Martin of Norwich receives his first call-up, for the matches against Wales and the Republic of Ireland, but there is the possibility he may not play.
Levein said that he thought ‘Russell has had a fantastic season at Norwich City’.
He continued: “We’ve had our eye on him for a while though I must stress he’s in the squad but there are still elements of the paperwork to be finalised.
“I wanted to put him in the squad but if it doesn’t work in time then so be it, but I’m confident we’ll get everything tied up in time for the matches. His father is Scottish so it shouldn’t be too difficult.”
Another new face in the squad is Celtic starlet James Forrest.
“In keeping with adding young talented players to our group in recent games I’ve added James to this particular match because I feel he will be an international footballer of some repute in the years ahead.” said Levein. “The idea with him and the other young lads in the squad is to get them travelling and to get them used to being involved in international football so it becomes second nature to them.”
Levein also stated his disappointment at the number of players to pull out but understands in the cases of injuries and big games.
“….Disappointed that we can’t include Alan Hutton, Craig Gordon or Graham Dorrans through injury and of course I’m disappointed we can’t name Darren Fletcher in the squad. Hopefully he’ll make the Manchester United squad for the Champions League Final.”
“I’ve very hopeful that everybody will be fit and available to play for us and travel across to Dublin.”
Also included in the squad are Charlie Adam, Grant Hanley, Craig Mackail-Smith – who may also miss out due to involvement in play-off finals – and Ross McCormack.
Not making the squad though is striker David Goodwillie and Levein has given some advice to Chris Maguire over his future.
Speaking about Goodwillie, Levein said: “It’s down to non-football reasons and once that issue has resolved itself there’s every chance he’ll be part of the squad.”
“For somebody of Chris’s age my advice would be to play football. At his age he needs to play football week in and week out. It might fall on deaf ears but I wouldn’t like to see him go to a club and sit on the reserves.”
The matches are against Wales on Wednesday 25 May (kick-off 7.45pm) and the Republic of Ireland on Sunday 29 May (kick-off 6.30pm)
Goalkeepers: Matt Gilks (Blackpool), Allan McGregor (Rangers), Iain Turner (Everton)
Defenders: Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic), Stephen Crainey (Blackpool), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Danny Wilson (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Charlie Adam (Blackpool), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Scott Brown (Celtic), Kris Commons (Celtic), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Wigan Athletic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Barry Robson (Middlesbrough)
Forwards: Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough), Chris Maguire (Aberdeen), Ross McCormack (Leeds United), Kenny Miller (Bursaspor), Steven Naismith (Rangers)
By Douglas Barrie