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DUNDEE BOSS BACKS ARMSTRONG, McKAY AND PHILLIPS

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DUNDEE boss Paul Hartley insists Gordon Strachan must pick Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong in his next international squad.

Scotland are struggling to qualify for the World Cup Finals in Russia next year and, after a dismal start to the qualifying stages, have just four points from as many games.

And Hartley believes Armstrong is among those who could provide the spark Strachan is looking for ahead of the clash with Slovenia at Hampden on March 26.

He said: “Stuart is playing well. He’s had a fantastic season and having someone like Brendan Rodgers at the club has obviously helped him.

“It has given him confidence and probably changed how he plays a little bit, too. He is a player who will, hopefully, be in the reckoning for Slovenia.

“Rangers’ Barrie McKay is another one, as is Matt Philips at West Brom, so we have good players chapping on the door.

“It’s up to the manager to pick the players and I’ll never tell him what to do, that’s not my job. He knows better than anybody else and we just need to get right behind him.

“But these guys would bring a bit of pace to the team. If you look at the way that Armstrong and McKay have played this season, they have been outstanding.

“If we can get that result against Slovenia, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

Armstrong has previously captained Scotland Under-21s, but, despite two senior squad call-ups, has yet to make his full debut.

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