SCOTLAND manager Gordon Strachan today admitted that it was an easy decision to call up Celtic’s goal scoring midfielder Callum McGregor.

His Celtic team mates Stuart Armstrong and skipper Scott Brown are both out of the squad for this week’s crucial World Cup qualifying showdowns with Slovakia and Slovenia.

Both would have been likely starters in these games and their injuries sustained in Celtic’s Champions League victory over Anderlecht have left Strachan with a huge hole in his midfield.

And Strachan looks likely to call on the two midfield goal scorers at the weekend’s dramatic 2-2 draw at Celtic Park.

McGregor and Hibs star John McGinn were both in wonderful form scoring two goals each and their performances look set to get them a place in the Scotland team.

Strachan has had to endure criticism for his decision to continually overlook McGregor as the six other starting Celts turned around Scotland’s fortunes in the 2017 fixtures after a dismal start to the group in the earlier matches played last year.

Now though the injuries  to Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong have opened the door and Strachan is now ready to play the 24 year old Celtic star. And it was not a tough call, according to the ex-Celtic boss.

“It was easy really,” admitted Strachan.

“But the guys he’s replacing are the ones who sometimes keep him out of the Celtic team as well.

“There is no embarrassment in that when you’re up against Armstrong and Brown. That’s how strong Celtic are in that area.

“But Callum has kept his head down, plugged away and hopefully he feels it’s a right big bonus coming along with us.

“I’ve said many times before there are a few unfortunate players in that central midfield area and wide positions because it’s not easy getting into this squad.”

He said: “We’ve got three good players missing but it’s a strong area for us,” Strachan said referring to the loss of the Celtic pair plus Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie.

“We’ve added Callum after he scored two goals at the weekend and we’ve also got John McGinn who scored two as well on Saturday and was fantastic, and Barry Bannan, who was magnificent for his team.

“That shows you how strong we are. We could probably have added another three or four midfield players from around Britain who could help us.

“Yeah, we’d have liked the guys to be here but we also got the guys we can trust. Darren Fletcher, James Morrison and James McArthur. So we’re okay there.

“We have depth and players who are on form.”


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