Bannan set for senior Scotland call

03 November 2010 06:27
Craig Levein has revealed Barry Bannan could be one of several Scotland U-21 stars handed their chance in the friendly with the Faroe Islands.

It is likely that the Scotland boss will face call-offs for what is an unattractive friendly at Pittodrie and he hinted that some of the international players at Rangers could be given some respite due to their Champions League exertions.

Levein will turn to Billy Stark's youngsters, who came close to qualifying for the 2011 European Championships last month - losing to Iceland in a two-legged play-off - and 20-year-old Aston Villa midfielder Bannan is top of the list.

Asked if the Tartan Army could expect to see some new faces against the Faroe Islands on November 16, Levein said: "Yes.

"I don't want to sit here and name the squad because we will be doing that next week, but one or two of the more experienced guys won't be in because I feel that they have had a lot of games recently.

"I want to win so I want to keep the nucleus of the team together, but I will be adding.

"The plan is to bring in young Barry Bannan, who has impressed me in the Under-21s and he is now appearing for Aston Villa.

"That's an indication that I want to look further afield, not just to the group that we have got, but for the future so there will be two or three younger lads as well."

Levein, at Hampden today to publicise 'The Management', a book on Scotland's great football bosses, added: "It's important for me to try and get as many players as we had on the field against Spain in the last game back together again.

"You are always hopeful as a manager that when you name your squad everyone will turn up, but we will see."

Scotland's next competitive game is not until next September when the Euro 2012 qualification campaign resumes with games against the Czech Republic and Lithuania at Hampden.

Levein admits such inactivity is not ideal but insists the feeling he had when Scotland came so close to causing an upset against Spain at Hampden, only to lose 3-2, vindicated his decision to become national team boss.

He said: "It is a source of frustration, of course, but that's why there is the friendly game in November, one game in February and two at the end of the season.

"I will use these opportunities to get the guys back together and try and grow the feeling that we are creating a group that is capable of being successful.

"The advantage of working with people on a daily basis is that you get to understand them and develop relationships.

"The difficulty in this situation is that you see them very rarely.

"So it takes a little more time to understand what type of characters you are dealing with.

"I think you have to understand a person before you can get the best out of them. But I am enjoying what I'm doing.

"One of the main reasons I took the job was for nights like we had against Spain.

"It is one of the most unbelievable experiences to be a Scotland manager on a night when I could say the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up with the way the supporters were, the place was really rocking.

"It was a real honour to be the manager. I feel we have a really good group and I am really looking forward to working with them as often as possible."

Source: Team_Talk