Strachan happy to reward McGregor

25 August 2014 11:16

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan expressed admiration for Callum McGregor's attitude on and off the park after naming the Celtic midfielder in his squad for next month's clash with world champions Germany.

The 21-year-old has been rewarded for an impressive start to the season which has seen him strike four times for the Scottish champions, including goals in each of Celtic's away Champions League qualifiers.

McGregor comes in for the European Championship qualifier in Dortmund on September 7 amid injuries to the likes of Hull winger Robert Snodgrass and Parkhead team-mates Scott Brown and James Forrest.

The attacking midfielder netted 14 goals last season in a loan spell at Sky Bet League One side Notts County and also impressed Strachan while playing for Scotland Under-21s.

Strachan said: "There was room in that area to bring people in and it's nice to bring a youngster in.

"I like to have people in who can eliminate people and go by them, and he has shown that.

"Not just this season, he has shown that last season at under-21 level and Notts County, which was great because he has done something about his career.

"He has got off his backside at Notts County. It's easy just to sit here. So I like that attitude - get me out to Notts County and I'll play and deal with reality football.

"He has come back and now he is playing with Celtic and scoring goals, and going by people."

Dundee United midfielder Stuart Armstrong and Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May both have to be content with a place in Billy Stark's Under-21s squad for their double header against Slovakia and Luxembourg.

West Brom midfielder James Morrison has made the senior squad despite being hampered by a knee injury during pre-season while Wolves midfielder Kevin McDonald is the only other uncapped player alongside McGregor.

Chris Burke, Shaun Maloney and Craig Bryson are among the other midfielders in Strachan's squad.

The Scotland manager has named three strikers - Steven Fletcher, Steven Naismith and Derby's Chris Martin - meaning there is no place for the likes of Jordan Rhodes, Ross McCormack or Leigh Griffiths.

And Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has earned a call-up after making his comeback from a career-threatening knee injury in recent weeks.

He replaces Matt Gilks as back-up to Allan McGregor and David Marshall, who are vying for the number-one spot.

Strachan said: "Matt's been terrific. I spoke to him last night and he understands what I'm doing here, because I have never really dealt with Craig.

"I have met him briefly a couple of years ago so it will be nice to get to know him. That's really why I'm doing it because McGregor and Marshall have been terrific.

"But Craig is back, let's get him in the fold and see how he feels, see if he likes working with us. So that's another boost to the squad. That's a strong area we have got there."

Source: PA

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