New Faces Offer Chance To Experiment
Billy Stark wants to try something different with the national side
Interim national manager, Billy Stark has decided to add some "experimentation" for the friendly in Luxembourg after seeing nine withdrawals from his squad. Kilmarnock midfielder Liam Kelly, Hibs on form striker Leigh Griffiths and Inverness midfielder Andrew Shinnie have all been added to the squad for the firs time ahead of Wednesday's game. Huddersfield left-back Paul Dixon, who played in the opening World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia, and St Mirren goalkeeper Craig Samson return to the squad. The SFA announced last night that Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall (groin), Sunderland pair Phil Bardsley (hamstring) and Steven Fletcher (ankle), Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney (abdominal), midfielders Charlie Adam and James Morrison (both groin), Blackpool winger Matt Philips (toe), Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan (knee) and QPR forward Jamie Mackie (ankle) had all pulled out.Billy Stark (c) Ger Harley | SportPix
Stark said: "Obviously at this stage of the season, with players playing weekend and midweek, niggles and strains and withdrawals are to be expected. This match gives us an opportunity to look at players who maybe have not had experience of the international set-up but who have been in tremendous form at their clubs." Griffiths scored his 12th goal of the season as Hibs beat Dundee United 2-1 to go top of the SPL on Sunday, while Shinnie has six SPL goals and five assists to his credit. Stark said: "Leigh has been excellent for Hibernian and scored again (on Sunday). I know him from the Under-21s and he is a talented player. Liam has been terrific for Kilmarnock and it is fitting that he gets an opportunity, while Andrew has been a real inspiration behind Inverness' success so far this season. I wanted to keep the Under-21 squad as settled as possible because they have a tough game against Portugal and I know what the more experienced players who have not made the squad are capable of at this level, so there is an element of experimentation to the additions."
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