SCOTLAND boss Alex McLeish has reassured Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur he will not become the forgotten man.

The former Hamilton Accies star, 30, was overlooked by the returning international gaffer for the recent friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary.

But Big Eck has reassured him he is still has a future with his nation as he prepares his squad for the two-game summer trip to Peru and Mexico.

He said: “I like him. I think he is a good player and he will certainly be in our plans.

“We had a chat about the last two games. He was fighting a relegation battle, so there was a bit of goodwill, as well.

“He has had some problems and played through things in the past few months.

“We had a good conversation with him and he is bursting to play for Scotland.”

And McLeish also hinted there could be a place in the travelling squad for Celtic new boy Lewis Morgan, a £300,000 signing from St Mirren in January, for the games against the Peruvians in Lima on may 29 and the Mexicans in the Azteca Stadium on June 2.

Asked if the friendlies double-header are coming too soon for the 21-year-old winger, McLeish admitted: “You never know, it might depend if we have casualties when I name the squad.

“We are still looking at things. We are sending letters to the guys. We will see what comes back to us.

“I have heard a lot about Lewis. People were pushing him for the last couple of games.

“I need to have a really good look at him and see how he matures over the next year or so, but I have certainly heard great things about him.”

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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