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Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010

Injured keeper Allan McGregor omitted from Scots squad


News conference - Scotland manager Craig Levein

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor's Scotland return has been delayed because of an injury sustained during an incident in Glasgow on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was omitted from Craig Levein's 24-man squad for the friendly against the Czech Republic on 3 March.

McGregor has not played for his country since being dropped for a breach of team discipline last April, but will be considered for future selection.

Rangers team-mates Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch have been recalled.

McGregor and former Rangers team-mate Barry Ferguson were axed following the 'Boozegate' scandal affair while on Scotland duty.

The goalkeeper was poised to return to the national side but there was no place for Birmingham City midfielder Ferguson.

Levein revealed McGregor had been left out because he is an injury doubt for Sunday's Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

"I got a phone call from Walter Smith last night explaining what had happened and that he was a doubt for the Rangers game next weekend," said Levein.

Rangers pair Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch have been included in the Scotland squad
Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch have returned to the Scotland fold

"I'm looking for certainty. It doesn't look like he's going to be fit so it's nice and simple.

"Once this game is out of the way, he will be considered for the next match."

Boyd withdrew from the Scotland set-up under previous manager George Burley because of his lack of first-team action.

But he declared himself available for selection under Levein, who succeeded Burley at the end of last year.

McCulloch called time on his Scotland career in September 2008 in order to focus on his club commitments. But he too said he was willing to return to international football following Levein's appointment.

Andy Webster, on loan at Dundee United from Rangers, is in the squad alongside fellow Tannadice team-mates Garry Kenneth and Paul Dixon.

I'm pleased everybody seems positive about the future, but we have to have our feet on the ground as well

Scotland manager Craig Levein

Bristol City midfielder Paul Hartley is recalled along with his team-mate Chris Iwelumo, who recently joined the Robins on loan from Wolves.

Among those omitted from the squad were Celtic defender Stephen McManus, who is on loan at Middlesbrough, and Cardiff striker Ross McCormack.

Levein revealed that the left back position was proving something of "a quandary" for the national side.

"Having worked with Paul Dixon and Lee Wallace, we're looking for someone to establish themselves as a permanent left back for the national team," he said.

"Although Paul has had a fairly quick rise coming from Dundee to Dundee United, I feel he's got attributes that would enable him to be at home at international level."

"We need to find one or two young centre backs that can be the backbone of the Scottish team in the future."

Levein said getting his Scotland tenure off to a winning start was important and stressed that his choice of squad did not signal the end of any player's international career.

"I'm pleased everybody seems positive about the future and the way things are going, but we have to have our feet on the ground as well.

"We're looking at a team, here, that in the last two years has won only three matches: two against Iceland and one against Macedonia.

"There aren't hundreds of players out there who are going to improve the squad dramatically."

Scotland squad to face the Czech Republic on 3 March:

Goalkeepers: Alexander (Rangers), Gordon (Sunderland), Marshall (Cardiff City);
Defenders: Hutton (Tottenham), Berra (Wolves), Caldwell (Wigan), Dixon (Dundee United), Kenneth (Dundee United), Wallace (Hearts), Webster (Dundee United, on loan from Rangers) Whittaker (Rangers),
Midfielders: Adam (Blackpool), Brown (Celtic), Dorrans (West Brom), Fletcher (Manchester United), Hartley (Bristol City), McCulloch (Rangers), McFadden (Birmingham), Robson (Middlesbrough), Thomson (Rangers),
Forwards: Boyd (Rangers), Fletcher (Burnley), Iwelumo (Wolves), Miller (Rangers)

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see also
Police to probe McGregor incident
22 Feb 10 |  Rangers
Webster eyes return for Scotland
21 Feb 10 |  Dundee Utd
Del Bosque respectful of Scotland
21 Feb 10 |  Football
Levein content with fixture dates
20 Feb 10 |  Football
Scots begin campaign in Lithuania
19 Feb 10 |  Football
Fixtures first test for Levein
18 Feb 10 |  Football
Scotland face Spain in Euro group
07 Feb 10 |  Football

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