Scotland summon Black Cat Bardsley

06 October 2010 02:07
Scotland coach Craig Levein insists he has no qualms about throwing Phil Bardsley straight into the Euro 2012 qualifier against Czech Republic.[LNB] The Sunderland right-back was a late call-up to the squad, which jetted out to Prague this afternoon ahead of Friday's clash.[LNB]His inclusion will provide cover for Alan Hutton, who is struggling with a groin strain, and that means Bardsley could make his debut sooner than anticipated.[LNB]Asked if he would be happy for the former Rangers and Manchester United player to start the match, Levein said: "If the situation means that Phil has to play, then yes.[LNB]"He played last week against Manchester United for Sunderland. He's an experienced enough player and I don't have any qualms about that at all."[LNB]Bardsley, 25, was born in England but qualifies through his Glaswegian father and had a change of heart about representing Scotland after dismissing the idea as an 18-year-old.[LNB]"It's been a bit rushed to be honest," said Levein. "We have been aware of Phil's eligibility for a while, it was just a matter of finding out if he was going to commit to playing for Scotland.[LNB]"We chased it up and found out that he had a change of heart from a couple of years ago and he's desperate to be involved.[LNB]"We tried to progress things as quickly as possible and everything has been done. He's another experienced but young player who fits into the profile.[LNB]"I'm really pleased to have him on board. He's playing every week in the Premiership, which is a big plus for us."[LNB]Levein rated Hutton's chances as "pretty good", adding: "He did a little today and felt better than he did yesterday. He maybe has an 80% chance but I'm guessing.[LNB]"I see a general improvement on the injury and the amount of positive feedback I'm getting."[LNB]Levein is also hopeful goalkeeper Allan McGregor will prove his fitness ahead of the match.[LNB]He said: "He's fairly positive. He did a little bit today, not a full session. He's had a recurring thigh strain which he's played with.[LNB]"He played three games last week for Rangers carrying this injury.[LNB]"He has had a full week's rest this week so I would expect him to be far better come Friday night than he was when he played against Hearts.[LNB]"I'm hopeful but I'm not going to take any chances with anybody. If he's fit he'll play, if he's not he won't."[LNB]The Scotland boss added: "We have some issues that I'm hoping will be clearer in training tomorrow evening.[LNB]"There are a couple of guys who haven't done a full training session as yet but I'm hopeful those guys will be okay and available for selection."[LNB]However, Levein refused to be drawn on speculation that Kenny Miller will be dropped on Friday night, with the Rangers striker hoping to earn his 50th cap.[LNB]"The team will be named as usual 24 hours before the match," said the manager.[LNB]"I'm not going to make any comments at this moment in time about who's playing and who's not.[LNB]"The team hasn't been named, I can assure you of that. I'm not going to give any indication as to what the team is at this moment in time."[LNB]Asked if Miller was still in his thoughts, he replied: "Of course."

Source: Team_Talk