O'Connor still has Scotland future, says Levein

29 September 2011 10:35

Controversial Hibernian striker Garry O'Connor still has an international future with Scotland despite his off-field legal problems, coach Craig Levein said on Thursday.

O'Connor has hit 10 goals in 11 games in Scotland so far this season, but he was missing from the squad named by Levein for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Spain next month.

The 28-year-old O'Connor has 16 caps but last played international football two years ago against the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier.

Next year he faces a trial accused of possessing cocaine.

"Garry is getting back to the position where he's feeling fitter, he's a regular in the team, his confidence is growing gradually as he is getting more and more games," said Levein.

"The reason that Garry isn't involved in this particular squad is that I feel he has other issues to deal with just now off the field.

"Once he has those clear and out of his mind, it would allow him to concentrate completely on football. I have made Garry aware that he is very much in my thoughts and if he continues in this fine vein of form, then he will be included in the squad."

Levein made three changes from the last squad, with David Marshall and Stephen McManus added to the pool and Dundee United midfielder Danny Swanson earning his first call-up.

Scotland squad for the Euro 2012 Group I qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Spain on Oct 8 and Oct 11:

Goalkeepers: David Marshall (Cardiff City), Allan McGregor (Rangers) Matt Gilks (Blackpool)

Defenders: Stephen McManus (Middlesbrough), Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen Crainey (Blackpool), Christophe Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic)

Midfielders: Charlie Adam (Liverpool), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Don Cowie (Cardiff City), Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), James Forrest (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Steven Naismith (Rangers), Barry Robson (Middlesbrough), Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United), Danny Swanson (Dundee United)

Forwards: David Goodwillie (Blackburn Rovers), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kenny Miller (Cardiff City)

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
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