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Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Sunday, 26 September 2010 12:06 UK

Scotland to drop misfiring striker Kris Boyd

Middlesbrough striker Kris Boyd
Boyd has scored only once for Middlesbrough since his summer move

By Jane Lewis and Clive Lindsay

Middlesbrough striker Kris Boyd will be left out of the Scotland squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Spain next month.

National coach Craig Levein has spoken to the 27-year-old, suggesting that he should concentrate on rediscovering his form at club level.

Boyd was Rangers' top scorer but left for Middlesbrough in the summer.

He has scored just once in eight games for the Championship side this season and was on the bench on Saturday.

Boyd quit Scotland two years ago after being left on the bench by former national boss George Burley before returning to the fold under Levein.

He started last month's 2-1 win over Liechtenstein but was subbed during the second half as the Scots struggled to come back from a shock opener by the visitors to Hampden.

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon
Gordon was back on the bench for Sunderland on Saturday

But Levein is likely to adopt a 4-5-1 system against the Czechs and Spain - exactly the formation that led to Boyd being sidelined by Rangers manager Walter Smith for crucial European ties.

And the Scotland coach has already admitted that he is considering a first call-up for Queens Park Rangers striker Jamie Mackie, who has scored eight times for the Championship leaders this season.

In-form Rangers striker Kenny Miller is again likely to be Levein's first choice for a solo role up front, with Wolves' Steven Fletcher and two other forwards as back-up.

Meanwhile, first-choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon and defender Gary Caldwell could have an outside chance of making Levein's squad, which will be named on Thursday.

Gordon was on the bench for Sunderland on Saturday, although that was only as emergency injury cover as he continues his comeback from a broken arm that forced him out of Scotland's first two Group I matches.

Caldwell, who has been out of action since having summer surgery on two hip joints, will hope to come through a reserve game with Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.

However, a lack of first-team action could still count against both those players and Middlesbrough midfielder Kevin Thomson, who is making a faster than expected recovery from a broken leg.

Levein will definitely be without injured Birmingham City forward James McFadden, while Aberdeen midfielder Paul Hartley is extremely doubtful.

The Scotland coach is also hoping that Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson will change the decision he made during the summer not to return to the national squad after being banned following a late-night drinking session during Burley's reign.



see also
Mackie being considered for Scots
25 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Hartley injury doubt for Scotland
24 Sep 10 |  Aberdeen
Maloney aims for Scotland recall
24 Sep 10 |  Celtic
McFadden sidelined by knee injury
17 Sep 10 |  Birmingham


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