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Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 10:52 UK

Burley recalls Maloney, O'Connor

Shaun Maloney and Garry O'Connor
Shaun Maloney and Garry O'Connor are back in the squad

Scotland manager George Burley has named his squad for next month's 2010 World Cup qualifying matches against FYR Macedonia and Iceland.

Celtic's Shaun Maloney is included, following his recent return to the Glasgow club from Aston Villa.

There is also a place for Birmingham City striker Garry O'Connor.

The Scots open their Group Nine campaign in Macedonia on Saturday 6 September before travelling to Iceland four days later.

Maloney, who has 11 caps, did not feature in the recent goalless friendly with Northern Ireland. His only international goal was with a free-kick in a 2-0 victory over the Faroe Islands.

The forward, who can play in wide or central areas, left Celtic for Villa in January 2007 but, after failing to gain a regular first-team place in Martin O'Neill's side, returned to Parkhead in a 2.5m deal last week.

"Shaun is a terrific player, who has great ability," said the Scotland manager.

"At Aston Villa, it was difficult when he wasn't playing. I saw him on Saturday (against Falkirk) when he played for 70 minutes and I thought he was outstanding. He looked lively and bright.

Unfortunately, Alan Hutton isn't available for the start of the campaign

Scotland manager George Burley

"I spoke to Shaun and he felt with a couple of games under his belt that he would be back to 100% so I had no hesitation in calling him up."

O'Connor has scored twice in the Championship so far this season and last played for Scotland in the 3-1 victory over Ukraine last October. The former Hibernian and Lokomotiv Moscow player has four goals in 15 appearances for his country.

Press conference: Scotland manager George Burley

Burley sought the advice of his predecessor and current Birmingham boss Alex McLeish when selecting O'Connor.

"I spoke to Alex about him," said Burley.

"He has started the season well, he gives us a different dimension and he's in good goalscoring form."

Tottenham Hotspur full-back Alan Hutton does not feature in the squad with the former Rangers defender still recovering from a stress fracture to his right foot.

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"Alan has progressed in the last few years into a top-class international full-back, some people would say one of the best full-backs in Britain," Burley said.

"It's very disappointing but we were aware of his injury pre-season. We kept our fingers crossed that he would be available for the start of the campaign. Unfortunately, that isn't to be."

Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch, Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart and Hibernian's Steven Fletcher also miss out but Derby's Kris Commons, Darren Barr of Falkirk and Rangers' Kevin Thomson retain their places after making their international debuts against Northern Ireland.

Celtic defender Stephen McManus is set to continue as captain with Rangers' Barry Ferguson recovering from ankle surgery.

Burley, who will be taking charge of his first competitive internationals, is still waiting for his first win as Scotland boss following draws with Croatia and Northern Ireland at Hampden and defeat to the Czech Republic in Prague.


Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Sunderland), David Marshall (Norwich City), Allan McGregor (Rangers)

Defenders: Graham Alexander (Burnley), Darren Barr (Falkirk), Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian), Gary Caldwell (Celtic), Callum Davidson (Preston North End), Stephen McManus (Celtic), Kevin McNaughton (Cardiff City), Gary Naysmith (Sheffield United), David Weir (Rangers)

Midfielders: Scott Brown (Celtic), Kris Commons (Derby County), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Paul Hartley (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Barry Robson (Celtic), Kevin Thomson (Rangers)

Forwards: Kris Boyd (Rangers), David Clarkson (Motherwell), James McFadden (Birmingham City), Kenny Miller (Rangers), Garry O'Connor (Birmingham City)


see also
Maloney in line for Scots recall
25 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Strachan praises Maloney return
23 Aug 08 |  Celtic
Celtic 3-0 Falkirk
23 Aug 08 |  Scottish Premier
Maloney returns full of regrets
22 Aug 08 |  Celtic
Scotland 0-0 Northern Ireland
20 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Ferguson to miss season opening
10 Jul 08 |  Rangers
Czech Republic 3-1 Scotland
30 May 08 |  Internationals
Scotland 1-1 Croatia
26 Mar 08 |  Internationals
Georgia 2-0 Scotland
17 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Faroe Islands 0-2 Scotland
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals
O'Connor returns to Scots squad
25 May 07 |  Internationals


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