Scotland call up Dickov

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Paul Dickov, the Manchester City striker, has been drafted into the Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Croatia.

Paul Dickov, the Manchester City striker, has been drafted into the Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Croatia.

The withdrawal of Paul Lambert and Barry Ferguson, who are both injured, and the disappointment surrounding Dominic Matteo, who will definitely miss Saturday's match with San Marino, has led to Dickov's inclusion.

Craig Brown, the Scotland coach, chose Dickov ahead of the in-form Aberdeen striker, Robbie Winters, and Dunfermline's Stevie Crawford as he has made an impressive start to the season.

The Livingston-born striker, who has represented his country at every level except for the senior side, has kept the former world footballer of the year George Weah out of City's first team and has now been given his reward.

"We have lost three players who have not been able to join up with the squad with Lambert and Ferguson out while Matteo misses the first game at least," Brown said. "Dominic will continue to have treatment at his club all week and then we will know whether he will be OK for the Croatia game."

Lambert has undergone surgery to have the nail removed from a poisoned toe and misses out again after not playing in the opening World Cup qualifier in Latvia, which Scotland won 1-0. He is a massive loss for Brown particularly with Ferguson also ruled out.

The Rangers midfielder misses the games because of an Achilles injury which ruled him out of Sunday's Premier League win over Dundee United.

Brown's plans have further been disrupted with Matteo nursing an ankle injury which looks likely to end his hopes of an international debut when he had been enjoying a rich vein of form for Leeds.

The Dumfries-born player reported to the squad after suffering a knock in last weekend's victory over Tottenham. He will keep fighting to prove his fitness for the Croatia game, but the trio's loss is Dickov's gain.

The former Arsenal forward was understandably elated to receive the phone call yesterday morning informing him he had been called up. "I am delighted because this has always been my dream since being little," Dickov said. "I have always wanted to play for Scotland, but I felt I could have been in the squad which was announced last week. I wasn't chosen - which was disappointing. But to receive the call was a dream."

Comments