Vogts turns to Devlin to revive Scottish hopes

Kieran Daley
Tuesday 04 February 2014 03:11
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The Birmingham City midfielder Paul Devlin has been named in the Scotland squad for next week's European Championship qualifying match with Iceland. Devlin's inclusion comes as the Scotland manager, Berti Vogts, desperately attempts to find some new recruits for his squad, following Scotland's disastrous 2-2 draw away to the Faroe Islands in their opening Group Seven game.

The 30-year-old Devlin, who qualifies for Scotland through his father, has made a big impression since Birmingham's move up to the Premiership. Also included in the 26-man squad are the Motherwell midfielder James McFadden, Celtic's Jackie McNamara, Hearts' Steven Pressley, Leicester's Callum Davidson and the uncapped Russell Anderson of Aberdeen.

The Everton defender David Weir was not selected, having yesterday reaffirmed his intention not to play for his country "for the foreseeable future".

Weir sent a letter to the Scottish Football Association earlier in the week making it clear he did not want to be part of the squad for the Euro 2004 qualifier in Iceland a week on Saturday or the Edinburgh friendly with Canada that follows three days later.

Weir was understood to be angered by comments attributed to Vogts in the German press criticising his performance against the Faroe Islands.

Vogts insisted: "I phoned him two days go and it was a nice talk from both sides. I have a good relationship with David. He has played all the games with me for Scotland and now I have to look forward.

"Maybe there is another sensation in the squad now."

Vogts is hoping that the inclusion of Devlin, Anderson and particularly McFadden, who has been attracting glowing reviews for Motherwell, will provide that sensation.

Vogts added that the centre-back Anderson had impressed him during both legs of Aberdeen's Uefa Cup first-round tie with Hertha Berlin, and he and Pressley will fill the void left by Weir. There are also recalls for Dominic Matteo of Leeds, Gary Naysmith of Everton and the Rangers winger Neil McCann, who all missed the Faroes match through injury.

McNamara is unlikely to feature against Iceland but could do so against Canada, with the door also open for the Celtic defender Stephen Crainey and Ian Murray of Hibernian, both of whom are in the Under-21 squad that take on Iceland the day before the senior match.

The Rangers and Argentina striker Claudio Caniggia says he has forgiven Celtic's Chris Sutton for the tackle that ruled him out of the World Cup.

The two are set to face each other at Parkhead on Sunday for the first time since last season's Scottish Cup final. Rangers won 3-2 with a last-minute goal. Caniggia had already been carried off at that stage thanks to the crude challenge from Sutton. The resulting knee injury put the veteran's dream call up to the finals in doubt, but although he did travel to Japan and Korea he did not take part in any of Argentina's three games.

"I have nothing against Sutton," Caniggia said. "I don't think he tried to hurt me on purpose. I was really looking forward to the World Cup and that was very disappointing as it was my last chance."

SCOTLAND SQUAD (European Championship qualifier v Iceland, Reykjavik, 12 Oct; friendly v Canada, Easter Road, Edinburgh, 15 Oct): N Alexander (Cardiff), Douglas (Celtic), Gallacher (Dundee Utd), G Alexander (Preston), Anderson (Aberdeen), Dailly (West Ham), Davidson (Leicester), Pressley (Hearts), Ross (Rangers), Stockdale (Middlesbrough), Wilkie (Dundee), Devlin (Birmingham), Ferguson (Rangers), Gemmill (Everton), Lambert (Celtic), McFadden (Motherwell), McNamara (Celtic), Matteo (Leeds), Naysmith (Everton), Severin (Hearts), Williams (Nottingham Forest), Crawford (Dunfermline), Dobie (West Bromwich), Kyle (Sunderland), McCann (Rangers), Thompson (Dundee Utd).

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