Malky Mackay names eight uncapped players to face Holland

30 October 2017 01:44

Scotland interim head coach Malky Mackay has named eight uncapped players in his squad for the friendly with Holland at Pittodrie.

Skipper Scott Brown, whose future was in doubt following the end of the failed 2018 World Cup qualification campaign which saw Gordon Strachan depart as boss, has been included by Mackay for the match on November 9.

Ryan Christie and Graeme Shinnie of Aberdeen, Jason Cummings of Nottingham Forest, Hibernian’s Paul Hanlon and Ryan Jack of Rangers are in the squad along with Celtic’s Callum McGregor, Jordan Archer of Millwall and Liam Cooper of Leeds, all of whom are looking for their first cap.

Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean, whose only appearance came against Czech Republic in March 2016, has been recalled. Former Hearts defender Callum Paterson also returns for the first time in a year.

Mackay is the Scottish Football Association’s performance director and is trying to push through plans to overhaul the youth systems of clubs. But he refused to rule out taking the Scotland job on a long-term basis.

Mackay, who said he had not been consulted over the recruitment process, said: “Every Scottish manager would be proud to manage their national team and right now I am that person. I played for my nation and I will manage my nation in two weeks’ time, and to be able to do that is something I will be eternally grateful for and humbled by. But right now my focus is just in the next couple of weeks.

“Who wouldn’t want to do that? But timing is a big thing and I’m 10 months into a job I’m incredibly proud to be doing, and in a job that is fundamentally important for Scottish football.

“I’ve been guiding this pathway for our youngsters and driving that, and making sure there’s a close connection with our football clubs. So I’ve got a job to do at the moment and in the next two weeks I’ve got this one to do as well.”

Darren Fletcher is also in the squad and Mackay is delighted to have the experience of the Stoke midfielder and Celtic captain Brown, who have both skippered their country in recent months.

“I’ve spoken to both of them at length this week,” the former Cardiff and Wigan manager said. “I actually played with Darren a long time ago on both of our debuts for Scotland.

“My conversations with Darren and Scott have been very productive over the last couple of days and both have come into the squad. Longer term, that’s their decision what they want to do. But I will have good conversations with both of them over the four or five days.

“At the moment both of them have made themselves available and that’s the key thing for me. I’m delighted with that. They are two terrific professionals, two quality players and guys that can really help some of the younger ones around them, and I think that’s key.”

Source: By PA Sport Staff


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