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John Hughes offers Derek Riordan Scotland hope

Hibernian forward Derek Riordan
Riordan has scored three goals in six league outings this season

By Brian McLauchlin

Hibernian manager John Hughes says that if Derek Riordan keeps performing as he has done this season then an international recall is a certainty.

Scotland coach Craig Levein has yet to select the 27-year-old forward.

But Hughes said: "I think he has shown goalscoring form to certainly come into Craig's thoughts of getting in there.

"He got a right buzz the last time he was involved, but he just needs to keep scoring goals for Hibs and then I'm quite sure the door will open again."

Riordan has netted three goals this season, including an exquisite lobbed finish in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Celtic Park.

Levein was at the match in Glasgow but has chosen to bolster his attacking options with Celtic's Shaun Maloney and QPR's Jamie Mackie, while James McFadden is injured and Kris Boyd is dropped.

On Boyd's exclusion, the national manager said: "If you look at the strikers I have picked, I have picked players on form, that is basically it."

Steven Fletcher, Chris Iwelumo, Kenny Miller and Steven Naismith are the other forwards at Levein's disposal for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Spain.

Hughes sure on Riordan Scots future

Having won his first cap in 2005, Riordan had to wait until late last year to make his next appearances in a Scotland shirt.

He was used as a late substitute in friendly defeats by Japan and Wales.

The 3-0 loss in Cardiff was George Burley's last match in charge and successor Levein has not chosen Riordan for any of the four matches he has overseen.

Riordan has been playing in a more advanced role since Hibs sold last season's top scorer, Anthony Stokes, to Celtic.

And Hughes will be hoping for more goals from him as the Edinburgh side seek to end a poor run of form away to St Johnstone on Saturday.

Hibs have not won a game since the opening league match of the season and sit ninth in the Scottish Premier League table.

"I have got right good vibes about this week, but that does not guarantee you can win a football match," added Hughes.

"The last time we went up there, we lost 5-1, but I feel there is a real togetherness amongst the players.

"There has been a lot of rubbish talked about them and I think that is starting to annoy them."

Colin Nish and Sol Bamba have recovered from the knocks that kept them out last weekend, but Graham Stack and Ian Murray remain sidelined and Danny Galbraith is a doubt following a training-ground injury.



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see also
Scots call on Gordon and Caldwell
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Hibernian flak is deserved - Hart
27 Sep 10 |  Hibernian


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