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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 15:27 GMT
Vogts promotes Pearson
Motherwell midfielder Stephen Pearson
Stephen Pearson could be sold by Motherwell in January
Wanted man Stephen Pearson has been elevated to Scotland's full international squad for the Euro 2004 play-off against the Netherlands.

And veteran Preston North End goalkeeper Jonathan Gould is recalled in a larger-than-usual, 25-man selection as Scotland coach Berti Vogts makes sure that he is covered for likely injury or suspension call-offs.

Pearson, a regular with Rainer Bonhof's Under-21s, is included after some impressive recent displays that have led to speculation that Motherwell will sell him to Celtic or another of a host of big-name suitors during the January transfer window.

Vogts has been left short of options in midfield, with captain Paul Lambert definitely out and Colin Cameron and Gavin Rae both major injury doubts despite being included in the squad.

The German coach is also concerned that he has several players on yellow cards that could force them to miss the second leg of the play-off if they are booked again during the first leg at Hampden on 15 November.

The time is right for Stephen Pearson
Scotland boss Berti Vogts
Vogts said: "We especially need someone on the left of midfield and Stephen Pearson is a left-footed player.

"He is aggressive, a good boy and he is also young. He did very well for the Under-21s and the time is right for him."

Gould's good form in the English First Division sees him included at the expense of Dunfermline Athletic's Derek Stillie three years since the last of the former Celtic goalkeeper's two caps.

Vogts believes that, apart from Lambert and injured Rangers striker Steve Thompson, he has his strongest squad available to him.

Lambert has still not returned to action with Celtic following the ankle injury that forced him off early in Germany back in September.

Cameron is set to miss Wolverhampton Wanderers' weekend clash with Birmingham City because of a pelvic problem.

Rae, who also started Scotland's last group game against Lithuania last month, is unlikely to feature against Motherwell because of a hamstring injury, although Dundee manager Jim Duffy believes he will recover in time to face the Netherlands.

Kevin Harper, suspended for three with games with Norwich City, drops out the Scotland squad completely.

Barry Ferguson has been given to permission to play for Blackburn Rovers on Monday night and Vogts will be anxious for the former Rangers skipper to avoid any injuries against Everton, who will include Gary Naysmith and James McFadden.

Colin Cameron is included despite being a doubt for Scotland
Celtic's Jackie McNamara is a versatile player who could move into midfield and that would leave a gap at right back that could be filled by Rangers' Maurice Ross.

Ross' former Ibrox team-mate, Neil McCann, now at Southampton, has recovered from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the Lithuania match.

The same applies to striker Paul Dickov, who is now back in action for Leicester City.

Vogts had to send for emergency reinforcements on that occasion, when Don Hutchison hopped on to a plane to Glasgow.

The West Ham United forward had originally been overlooked on fitness grounds but played all 120 minutes of his side's extra-time defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last week and is included this time.

Scotland squad:

Neil Alexander (Cardiff City), Robert Douglas (Celtic) , Jonathan Gould (Preston NE)

Graham Alexander (Preston North End), Steven Caldwell (Newcastle United) , Christian Dailly (West Ham United) , Jackie McNamara (Celtic), Steven Pressley (Heart of Midlothian), Maurice Ross (Rangers) , Andy Webster (Heart of Midlothian), Lee Wilkie (Dundee)

Colin Cameron (Wolverhampton W.), Paul Devlin (Watford), Barry Ferguson (Blackburn Rovers) , Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Gary Naysmith (Everton) , Stephen Pearson (Motherwell), Gavin Rae (Dundee)

Stephen Crawford (Dunfermline Athletic), Paul Dickov (Leicester City), Andy Gray (Bradford City), Don Hutchison (West Ham United) , Neil McCann (Southampton), James McFadden (Everton), Kenny Miller (Wolverhampton W.)

Ruud made to wait
07 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Lambert to miss Dutch test
05 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Scots have Dutch courage
19 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Tough tests for Scotland and Wales
13 Oct 03  |  Internationals
Vogts curses luck of draw
13 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Tartan Army optimistic
13 Oct 03  |  Scotland

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