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Rangers' Macleod relishes Scotland adventure

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers midfielder Lewis Macleod is determined to take all he can from his first experience in the full Scotland squad.

The 20-year-old will spend the week training with Gordon Strachan's men ahead of their European Championship qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on Friday night and the friendly with England the following Tuesday.

Macleod further enhanced his reputation with his eighth goal of the season on Saturday, heading home the second goal in a 4-0 Scottish Championship win over Falkirk after meeting Jon Daly's cross on the counter-attack.

He also set up the third for Kenny Miller with a low cross to the far post as Rangers remained four points behind league leaders Hearts.

His passing ability also helped Rangers put Falkirk on the back foot ahead of Nicky Law's 25th-minute opener, when the former Motherwell man forced the ball home after the visitors struggled to clear a corner.

Macleod had sent Miller away to set up a break by drilling a 60-yard pass just inside the left touchline, and then arrived in the attack to thread a defence-splitting ball to the veteran forward, who saw his shot turned wide.

It is such creativity that has earned him a place in the Scotland squad as Strachan continues to involve the country's promising young players.

Hull left-back Andy Robertson utilised his chance to force his way into Strachan's regular plans, and although Macleod has a tougher position to break into, he aims to make sure he gives himself every chance.

"I don't expect to play but it will be a great experience training and you couldn't get two bigger games to be involved in," Macleod commented.

"If I get any game time at all I'll be more than happy.

"It's a massive step. It was a big step playing with the 21s and it will be hard but I'm looking forward to it. It can only benefit me for the future."

The likes of Miller and Kris Boyd have given Macleod some advice ahead of his first involvement.

"They have just told me to take it all in and enjoy every minute of it because, you never know, it could be your last time but hopefully it will be the first of many times," said the midfielder.

Macleod secured another accolade this weekend after helping Rangers win their eighth consecutive game when he was named as the SPFL young player of the month.

"It's been a great month and the team has played a lot better," he said.

"The call-up came as a big surprise and I'm delighted with the award too."

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