Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Gordon Strachan admits he's taking gamble with Scotland squad omissions

By Gavin McCafferty

Published 12/05/2016

Tough call: Gordon Strachan
Tough call: Gordon Strachan

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan admits he is taking a gamble by omitting his Celtic and Aberdeen contingent from his squad to face Italy and France.

But Strachan is convinced it is more important in the long run to have Scottish players competing at the top level in European club football.

Celtic quartet Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths have been dropped for the post-season friendlies along with Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean. Hearts rejected the chance to allow Callum Paterson to miss the trip, though.

Both Hearts and Aberdeen start their Europa League campaign on June 30 with Celtic kicking off their Champions League qualifying quest less than two weeks later.

Strachan’s 27-man squad will be cut because of the Sky Bet Championship play-offs, but the former Celtic boss felt he had to take a long-term view.

Strachan said: “The reason the Celtic and Aberdeen players are not there — I’m the Scotland manager. My job is to get the best for Scottish football.

“So I’m picking a squad that’s without Celtic and Aberdeen players. I’m trying to give them as much rest as I can so they can be ready for their European ties.

“It might be a bit of a gamble, I could have done with some of them.”

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph