29 Sep Scotland: Rhodes and Shinnie get call-up
Gordon Strachan has named Aberdeen full-back Graeme Shinnie and Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes in his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland and Gibraltar.
There was also a call-up for Wolves midfielder Kevin McDonald, who, like Shinnie, are the only uncapped players in the squad. Shinnie has impressed for an Aberdeen side who sit top of the Scottish Premiership.
“Kevin was with us last year. He has had a great season again with Wolves,” Strachan said.
“I’ve seen him recently, he is getting better and better as he gets older although he is not an old man.
“I think he deserves to be here. He has been unfortunate because we are strong in central midfield area.
“I have known about Graeme for a couple of years now. But again we have been strong in the areas he has been playing.
“But he has played so well it would be great to have a look at him. He can cover many positions, that is handy and I look forward to working with him.
“He has had a successful season, he has been in a winning side so that helps when you bring people in who have been on a high, and he is on a high at the moment.”
Rhodes has been in prolific form, netting five goals in his last four games for Blackburn. The 25-year-old has struggled to cement his place in the squad as he doesn’t fit into Strachan’s system.
There were no places for James Morrison, who is suspended for the European qualifier against Poland, the injured Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong and Derby County’s Craig Forsyth.
Scotland welcome the Poles to Hampden on October 8 before facing Gibraltar in Faro three days later.
The Scots sit in fourth place and must at least draw against Poland and hope results go their way in the two remaining games if they are to secure a play-off spot.
Strachan said: “I would think we need to win it but if we don’t stranger things have happened.”
Scotland squad to face Poland and Gibraltar:
Craig Gordon (Celtic)
David Marshall (Cardiff City)
Allan McGregor (Hull City)
Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town)
Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rover)
Alan Hutton (Aston Villa)
Russell Martin (Norwich City)
Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic)
Andrew Robertson (Hull City)
Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen)
Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)
Ikechi Anya (Watford)
Scott Brown (Celtic)
Darren Fletcher (West Brom)
James Forrest (Celtic)
Shaun Maloney (Hull City)
James Morrison (West Brom)
James McArthur (Crystal Palace)
Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth AFC)
Johnny Russell (Derby County)
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland)
Leigh Griffiths (Celtic)
Chris Martin (Derby)
Steven Naismith (Everton)
Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)