No surprises in Scotland squad
Wednesday 07 November 2012
Interim Scotland manager Billy Stark has named a familiar squad for next week's friendly against Luxembourg with no surprise inclusions.
But there are some notable absentees including Gary Caldwell, Scott Brown, Allan McGregor and Alan Hutton, although Kenny Miller retains his place.
Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan has earned a recall and full-backs Steven Whittaker and Phil Bardsley return following ankle injuries.
Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell comes in for the absent McGregor.
Stark revealed that the omission of some of the regulars was simply down to a decision to rest some players.
He said: "For a November friendly, a lot of football has already been played and some players will have niggles they would love the opportunity to shake off.
"Allan McGregor and Gary Caldwell, in particular, have been real stalwarts and terrific players for the national team in recent years.
"I've spoken to them and they were grateful to have the opportunity to have a wee break from this game.
"There is nothing more to it than that. It's simply the stage they are at.
"Allan McGregor rushed back from injury and was an absolute star for us in those games.
"But he's out in Turkey now and, with family circumstances, it was a good opportunity to show a bit of compassion in that sense."
Stark takes charge for the match in Luxembourg on November 14 following the sacking of Craig Levein on Monday.
A number of high-profile candidates have already been linked with the vacancy, including bookmakers' favourite Gordon Strachan.
Stark declined to throw his hat in the ring for the job but refused to rule himself out either.
He said: "I don't know how that process works in terms of applications.
"I've been happy in the under-21s job and I'm honoured and absolutely delighted to have the faith of the board that I can prove myself capable of taking the team next week.
"I don't think you rule anything out in football."
Asked if managing the senior team is a dream job, he added: "I think it's a job that every individual would covet.
"I've been very proud to be the manager of the under-21s and I can only imagine that would be exaggerated when you're in the full job.
"My remit is to take the team through the Luxembourg fixture and that's all I'm concentrating on."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: Five reasons why Argentina will win the World Cup
World Cup Final 2014: Choosing between Germany and Argentina is an impossible choice
Luke Shaw arrives a week early for Manchester United pre-season training after cutting short post-World Cup holiday
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Luis Suarez joins Barcelona: Wilfried Bony, Karim Benzema and the other transfer targets Liverpool should look to replace Suarez with
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’