Brown puts McStay back on the world stage

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The Independent Online
Paul McStay has a chance to relaunch his international career in Sweden next week. The Celtic midfielder has been recalled by the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, for the friendly in Stockholm on Wednesday. McStay won the last of his 72 caps in March, when the Scots drew 0-0 in a European Championship qualifier in Russia.

The Tranmere winger Pat Nevin and the Bolton striker John McGinlay are also included in an 18-man squad for the senior match.

"Paul is as fresh as a daisy at present," Brown said. "He does not have anything to prove to me. He is very important to Scotland in terms of his final pass. We are overloaded with quality in midfield but what I do not know is our best striking partnership". Brown indicated he may choose a front pairing of Ally McCoist and Scott Booth of Aberdeen.

Chelsea's John Spencer started ahead of McCoist against Finland last month, but has been ruled out through injury. Nevin was substituted by Tranmere last week because of a thigh strain and Brown said there is a question mark over his fitness. John Robertson of Hearts is standing by.

Brown will adopt a positive policy against Sweden to put his side in good heart for the vital European Championship qualifier against San Marino at Hampden Park next month.

The senior squad holds no big surprises but the elevation of the goalkeeper Kevin McKeown to the B squad is a major surprise. He plays in Northern Ireland for Crusaders after being freed by Motherwell. McKeown is one of six new faces.

n The Manchester City defender, Terry Phelan, has been called up to the Republic of Ireland's squad for the vital Group Six European Championship qualifier against Latvia in Dublin on Wednesday. The 28-year-old full- back replaces Manchester United's Denis Irwin, who has been struggling with a knee injury.

SCOTLAND SQUAD (Friendly v Sweden, 11 October, Solna): Goram (Rangers), Leighton (Hibernian); McKimmie (Aberdeen), Boyd (Celtic), Calderwood (Spurs), McLaren (Rangers), Hendry (Blackburn), McAllister (Leeds), McCall (Rangers), Collins (Celtic), B McKinlay (Dundee Utd), McStay (Celtic), Nevin (Tranmere), D Jackson (Hibernian), McGinlay (Bolton), Booth (Aberdeen), McCoist (Rangers), Robertson (Hearts).