Levein ‘thrilled’ as Darren Fletcher returns for crunch Euro qualifiers


Craig Levein said he is delighted to be able to recall Darren Fletcher to the Scotland squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

The Manchester United midfielder has always been a key part of Levein’s plans, and is back to “100%” fitness.

Levein said: “He’s arguably our best player. A perfect role model and example to the rest of the guys in the squad and I really am thrilled to bits to have him in.”

The national coach also praised Cardiff striker Kenny Miller for stepping up to the role of captain in Fletcher’s absence.

“I think [Miller]’s been fantastic and I have an awful lot to thank him for.”

Apart from Fletcher, it is relatively the same squad that beat Denmark in a friendly a few weeks ago.

One player who didn’t make the cut for the crunch qualifiers is Kris Commons.

With a better idea of player’s form since the last squad, Levein stated that he felt: “Kris hasn’t really hit the ground running at the start of the season.”

He added: “I put him in the same bracket as Lee Wallace who hasn’t hit the ground running at Rangers this year.”

Although Steven Whittaker has been called up, but he is suspended for the first game against the Czechs on Saturday 3rd September.

The Czechs will also be without key player Petr Cech. It’s almost certain there will not be a repeat of the infamous 4-6-0 formation from the reverse fixture as Levein said: “It’s incumbent upon us to make sure the ‘keeper is tested.

“He’s a top world-class goalkeepr and he’ll be a big loss for the Czech Republic.”

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Matt Gilks (Blackpool), Allan McGregor (Rangers), Iain Turner (Preston North End)

Defenders: Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Christophe Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic), Stephen Crainey (Blackpool), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Tottenham Hotspur), Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Danny Wilson (Liverpool)

Midfielders: Charlie Adam (Liverpool), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Scott Brown (Celtic), Don Cowie (Cardiff City), Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), James Forrest (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Barry Robson (Middlesbrough), Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United),

Forwards: David Goodwillie (Blackburn Rovers), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kenny Miller (Cardiff City), Steven Naismith (Rangers).


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