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Page last updated at 00:22 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Andy Webster describes Scotland call-up as a "bonus"

Andy Webster has played under Levein at Hearts, Dundee United and will soon play in his Scotland side
Webster has played for Levein at Hearts, United and will play in his Scotland side

Dundee United defender Andy Webster has described his call-up to Craig Levein's first Scotland squad as a "bonus" and a "step in the right direction".

Webster, 27, played for Levein at Hearts and more recently at Tannadice, where the centre-half has impressed this season while on loan from Rangers.

And he is sure the Scotland boss will have the team well prepared for games.

"Craig's very astute, very intelligent, very thorough in his preparations. Tactically we'll be aware," he said.

Levein signed Webster from Arbroath when he was manager at Hearts and the youngster formed a solid partnership with Steven Pressley at Tynecastle.

Three years into a four-year deal with the Jambos, Webster used a new Fifa ruling to move to Wigan and was then loaned to Rangers in January 2007.

His Ibrox career has been blighted by knee and ankle injuries but he has shown tremendous resilience to fight his way back, first to Scottish Premier League football under Levein and Peter Houston on Tayside, and now to international football.

"Until the squad is officially announced you are a bit unsure if you are going to be involved or not," the centre-half told BBC Scotland's Sportsound programme on Monday.

"It's another step in the right direction. I have played quite regularly this season and to get the international call-up is an added bonus.

"This has come as a nice surprise and it's something I'm looking forward to."

There's a new manager, it's a new start for everybody, people will be looking to impress

Dundee United defender Andy Webster

Webster won the last of his 22 full caps for Scotland against Switzerland in March 2006, but enjoyed a run-out with the Scotland B team against Northern Ireland last May.

Describing the "dark days" of his injury torment, Webster added: "I think until people go through things like that, they never fully appreciate what you have to go through. It's the side of football you don't always see."

But having been named in Levein's squad to face the Czech Republic in a friendly at Hampden on 3 March, along with fellow United defenders Garry Kenneth and Paul Dixon, Webster is only interested in looking ahead.

"Everybody going into the squad will have the same ambition - there's a new manager, it's a new start for everybody, people will be looking to impress," he said.

"You've always got to be ambitious. The draw (for Euro 2012) was always going to be difficult, but there's no point in going into the competition and not wanting to do as well as you can."

And since teaming up with Levein nine years ago, Webster reckons he has witnessed the new Scotland manager develop.

"Working with him at Hearts and Dundee United, he has probably mellowed out slightly since he was the manager at Hearts," he said.

"At Dundee United there was a mutual respect. All the players respected the manager and in turn you earned that back. If the manager wants to implement something, the team will put it into practice."

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see also
Webster eyes return for Scotland
21 Feb 10 |  Dundee Utd
Houston unhappy at United effort
20 Feb 10 |  Dundee Utd
Celtic 1-0 Dundee United
20 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier
Houston tips Webster for Scotland
16 Feb 10 |  Football
Webster eager for United chance
16 Jul 09 |  Dundee Utd
Long wait for verdict on Webster
19 Oct 07 |  Scottish Premier
Webster extends Ibrox loan deal
29 Jun 07 |  Rangers
Webster must pay Hearts 625,000
04 May 07 |  Hearts
Bristol City land Webster on loan
18 Aug 08 |  Bristol City
Arbroath challenge Webster cash
11 Jun 08 |  Arbroath

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