12 Mar The six new faces in Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad
Scotland manager Alex McLeish has handed first call-ups to six players as he begins his second spell in charge of the national team.
McLeish has thrown down the gauntlet to the newcomers to make themselves a major part of his new era.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the fresh arrivals on to the international arena.
The Hearts goalkeeper helped his team keep eight consecutive clean sheets during the winter months and has made some impressive saves this season. With Craig Gordon injured and David Marshall on the sidelines for Hull, Edinburgh-born McLaughlin is included alongside 36-year-old Allan McGregor and 24-year-old Jordan Archer of Millwall. The 30-year-old played more than 100 games for both Bradford and Burton Albion before returning to his native city.
The Aberdeen defender has been a revelation this season after an unhappy loan spell at Ayr last term. The centre-back impressed Dons boss Derek McInnes in Scotland Under-21s’ victory over Holland in early September and he has never looked back after being drafted in for a 1-0 win at Motherwell later that month. Has signed two contract extensions this season after Hull had several bids rejected in January. The powerful 21-year-old has also scored two goals during his impressive breakthrough campaign, including a spectacular strike against Kilmarnock.
The former Dundee United, Lech Poznan and Konyaspor player has made 32 appearances for Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves this season, scoring four goals and setting up another 11. The 28-year-old set-piece specialist will join a fellow former Queen’s Park left-back, Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, in the Scotland ranks.
The former Celtic player has joined fellow Hibernian midfielder John McGinn in the international fold after a consistent run of games and form having shaken off a persistent groin complaint. The 25-year-old has the touch, passing ability and composure to make the step up. He impressed the watching McLeish on Friday with an impeccable performance in Hibs’ 2-0 derby win over Hearts with the Scotland manager admitting McGeouch had made a late charge into his plans.
The Lancaster-born Manchester United midfielder was included after rejecting the advances of England to pledge his international future to his father’s native land. Jose Mourinho continued showing his faith in the 21-year-old by picking him in his XI for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Liverpool after recent starts against the likes of Sevilla and Chelsea. The holding midfielder could be a key addition following Scott Brown’s international retirement.
A Scotland Under-21 regular, the Swansea striker has catapulted himself into the full squad after netting five goals in seven games following a January loan move to Barnsley. The 21-year-old has shown a willingness to learn during a string of loan spells at the likes of Newport, Bristol Rovers and Chester.