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Gordon praise for new cap Wallace

Keisuke Honda challenges Scotland's Lee Wallace in Yokohama
Wallace (right) was making his full international debut for Scotland

Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon says Lee Wallace has shown that he is good enough to compete for the left-back spot at international level.

The Hearts defender was one of six new caps to feature in Saturday's 2-0 friendly defeat by Japan in Yokohama.

"He is a very solid player," Gordon told BBC Scotland.

"He is decent on the ball and you get the same performance out of him every week. He is very steady and that's what exactly what you need in that area."

Gordon was a team-mate of Wallace's at Hearts before the goalkeeper moved to Sunderland.

But Scotland manager George Burley, who had also seen Wallace close at hand in his spell as boss at Tynecastle, had not picked the 22-year-old until a spate of withdrawals ahead of the trip to Japan.

Burley has hinted that those who played well in the 2-0 defeat will continue to be part of his plans and Wallace was picked out for praise by a number of pundits.

Left-back is a position where there are options for the manager and I know I was fortunate to get a game

Scotland and Hearts left-back Lee Wallace

However, the player himself, who had said the day prior to his call-up that he had not yet matched last year's form for his club, was not taking anything for granted.

"I will try to play well at club level, keep my fingers crossed and hopefully catch the eye and stay in the frame for Scotland," said Wallace.

"I have missed out on a few squads but was happy just to keep playing well with Hearts.

"This shows the Scotland gaffer is keeping a close eye on me and my progress."

Burley had chosen Celtic left-back Danny Fox, a former England Under-21 international who would have been earning his first cap thanks to a Scottish grandfather, ahead of Wallace in his initial squad.

Gordon disappointed by late goals

Even after Fox's withdrawal through injury, Rangers' Steven Whittaker looked poised to continue in the position in which he had impressed against the Netherlands until he reverted to his more natural right-back role after Alan Hutton pulled out.

Veteran pair Gary Naysmith and Callum Davidson will also be hoping for recalls once they recover from injury.

"Left-back is a position where there are options for the manager and I know I was fortunate to get a game," said Wallace. "But you never know what can happen."

The former Scotland Under-21 international caught the eye with one cool clearance while Scotland were under pressure at Nissan Stadium, where the visitors succumbed to two late goals.

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"I knew I'd be a bit nervous - that happens in every game," said Wallace, who made his debut along with Craig Conway, Don Cowie, Graham Dorrans, Stephen Hughes and Ross Wallace.

"But, as soon as the whistle went, I was fine. You grow in confidence as soon as you get your first pass off.

"I kept concentrating because Japan are hard opponents, quick and comfortable on the ball.

"We might have held on for a draw, but the last 10 minutes were disappointing. We now have to pick ourselves up and move on."



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see also
Smith happy with Driver approach
12 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Friendly was worthwhile - Burley
10 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Japan 2-0 Scotland
10 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Wales to face Scotland in Cardiff
07 Oct 09 |  Internationals


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