Scots missing Gordon

04 August 2009 12:43
Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon is not fit enough to be considered for their crucial World Cup qualifier in Norway. The Sunderland No.1 is still to regain full fitness after surgery on his knee curtailed his involvement with the Black Cats in May. George Burley, already without disgraced Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor, must select from three inexperienced players for the vital Group Nine meeting in Oslo on 12th August. Neil Alexander, David Marshall and Jamie Langfield will be battling it out for selection as Burley's side battle to secure second behind already-qualified Holland. "It's a huge loss," Burley said. "Craig is a top international keeper. "We tried to give it as long as possible. I spoke to (Sunderland manager) Steve Bruce yesterday and Craig. Barring a miracle, he's not going to be available. "Hopefully, in a couple of weeks' time, he should be fit to play." With five caps between them, there is no obvious contender among the three keepers to replace Gordon. Burley added: "We'll assess it like any other squad. We'll look at it in training. We've got three goalkeepers who are desperate to play." As expected, the talismanic James McFadden returns to the squad for the first time since November, while there are also recalls for Celtic midfielder Shaun Maloney, Burnley defender Steven Caldwell, Preston full-back Callum Davidson and Rangers striker Steven Naismith. Celtic midfielder Scott Brown is included, despite only recently returning from injury, but there is no place for veteran Rangers defender David Weir, Cardiff midfielder Gavin Rae or Derby's Gary Teale. Stephen McManus, James Morrison, Gary Naysmith, Kirk Broadfoot and Chris Iwelumo were all omitted due to injury. The squad will meet up on Thursday, apart from players from the Coca-Cola Championship, who will link up with the party on Sunday as they will be in action this weekend. Burley was keen for Manchester United's Darren Fletcher to miss Sunday's Community Shield clash with Chelsea, but the midfielder has made it known he will remain with his club for the Wembley clash. In the absence of McManus, Fletcher is likely to be named Scotland's captain in Oslo next Wednesday night. N Alexander (Rangers), Langfield (Aberdeen), Marshall (Cardiff); Barr (Falkirk), Berra (Wolves), G Caldwell (Celtic), S Caldwell (Burnley), Davidson (Preston), Hutton (Tottenham), McAllister (Bristol City), Whittaker (Rangers); Alexander (Burnley), Brown (Celtic), Commons (Derby), D Fletcher (Manchester United), Hartley (Bristol City), Maloney (Celtic), McFadden (Birmingham); Clarkson (Bristol City), S Fletcher (Burnley), McCormack (Cardiff), Miller (Rangers), Naismith (Rangers).

Source: SKY_Sports