07 Nov Snodgrass raring to go
Scotland playmaker Robert Snodgrass declared himself ready for action at Wembley after inspiring Hull to victory over Southampton.
The 29-year-old looked certain to miss Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifier after sustaining an ankle injury 11 days ago.
It was originally thought Snodgrass would be out of contention for a month.
But the former Livingston, Leeds and Norwich attacker proved his remarkable powers of recovery as he climbed off the bench to net Hull’s equaliser before setting up Michael Dawson’s winner in a 2-1 triumph which also featured Scottish number one David Marshall.
Tigers boss Mike Phelan told the BBC: “Robert Snodgrass had the most unbelievable swollen ankle at one point which disappeared overnight. He showed great character.”
The news will come as a massive boost to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, who will need all his top talents if his side are to beat the ‘Auld Enemy’ and breathe fresh life into their Russia 2018 bid.
Strachan has not been so lucky with injured left-backs Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson, who will both sit out the clash with Gareth Southgate’s men in London.
Instead, he will have to decide between Swansea’s Stephen Kingsley and Rangers skipper Lee Wallace but the national team boss will have been pleased to see both men come through unscathed after their Sunday club commitments.
Kingsley managed 90 minutes in the Swans’ 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, with Wallace doing the same as his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Ross County.
Snodgrass’ return to action will become even more welcome should Scott Brown’s return to the international fold prove short-lived.
Brown, who has reversed his recent decision to retire for Scotland duty following a sensational start to the campaign, could yet miss out on Friday’s game after going off injured in Celtic’s 3-0 win over Inverness on Saturday.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said: ”It looked like the top of his foot, when he came off he said his foot was numb so I think he has obviously taken a fair whack because he doesn’t come off easily so we will need to wait and see.
”The medical team here or at Scotland will decide whether he is fit to play or not.”
There was better news from the King Power Stadium, where West Brom midfielder James Morrison, who scored the last time Scotland ran out at Wembley, marked his first start for his club since January with a goal in the Baggies’ 2-1 win over Leicester , while Oliver Burke was given the final 21 minutes of Leipzig’s 3-1 Bundesliga win over Mainz.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton has announced his retirement from Scotland duty.
Hutton was absent from the squad to face England in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley and it has emerged he had asked Strachan to be excluded.
The 31-year-old failed to regain his place from Callum Paterson of Hearts for last month’s double header against Lithuania and Slovakia after pulling out of the previous two squads through injury.
The former Rangers and Tottenham player, who won 50 caps, told The Observer: “I feel this is the right time to spend more time with my family, put everything I have professionally into doing well at Villa and give others a chance for Scotland.
“I’ve had a really enjoyable nine years with Scotland and would like to think I have done my bit for my country. I wish both Gordon and the team all the best for the future.”
Speaking to several Sunday newspapers, Strachan said: “Alan Hutton has taken himself out of the frame to be an international player. Was it out the blue? A wee bit.
“He’s maybe in a position now where he’s thinking: ‘How long is that? Ten years? Have I done enough?’ We respect everyone’s decision.”