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Scotland boss Gordon Strachan names 27-man squad for crucial Ireland clash

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Scotland manager Gordon Strachan believes his team deserved a greater return from their trips to Germany and Poland in September and October. Photo: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan believes his team deserved a greater return from their trips to Germany and Poland in September and October. Photo: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

REUTERS

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan believes his team deserved a greater return from their trips to Germany and Poland in September and October. Photo: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Rangers midielder Lewis Macleod has been given a first Scotland call-up by Gordon Strachan for the European Championship qualifier against Republic of Ireland and the friendly against England, both at Celtic Park.

The 20-year-old has been capped at every level from under-16s to under-21s and has impressed Strachan with his his performances for the Ibrox club in the Championship this season where he has so far scored seven goals.

Stoke City full-back Phil Bardsley has been recalled to the squad in the absence of the injured Allan Hutton while Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May retains his place and Celtic's Charlie Mulgrew returns from injury and suspension.

Martin O'Neill's side visit the home of Celtic, where he, like Strachan, was once manager, on Friday, November 14 with the England match taking place four days later.

Republic of Ireland are behind Group D leaders Poland on goal difference with seven points from three games while the Scots are in fourth place behind Germany on goal difference with both teams on four points.

Strachan said Macleod need only look at left-back Andy Robertson to see that he is "not only there to make up the numbers".

As a Scotland Under-21 player at Dundee United before his move to Hull City in the summer, Robertson was invited to a training session with the senior team and was soon promoted, making his debut against Poland in a friendly in March before becoming an established member of the squad.

Strachan said: "If things go well this week you never know what might happen.

"Young Andrew Robertson joined us for an afternoon and played against 11 versus 11 to work on certain things.

"After the game finished I asked the coaches (their opinion on) who played well and, apart from Scott Brown and James Morrison, he was man of the match.

"I am looking forward to seeing him (Macleod) and working with him.

"I saw him in the first game of the season and I caught up with videos and obviously other people watch games.

"So it is easy to find out if a player is playing well. We think it will be good for us to have him along."

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Matt Gilks (Burnley), Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City)

Defenders: Phil Bardsley (Stoke City), Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace), Scott Brown (Celtic), Craig Bryson (Derby County), Chris Burke (Nottingham Forest), Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Lewis Macleod (Rangers), Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic)

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven May (Sheffield Wednesday), Steven Naismith (Everton).

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