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Page last updated at 20:33 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:33 UK

Middlesbrough's Kevin Thomson cool on Scotland chances

Kevin Thomson has won three caps for Scotland
Thomson could be the answer to Scotland's midfield shortage

Kevin Thomson is in line to make a quicker than expected recovery from a leg break but is playing down his chances of a Scotland call up.

The Middlesbrough midfielder may be fit enough to be included in the squad for Saturday's home match with Portsmouth.

However, the Scotland party for Euro 2012 qualifiers with Czech Republic and Spain is named on Thursday.

"I would never rule myself out," Thomson told BBC Scotland. "But that's from a selfish point of view."

Scotland manager Craig Levein is short of holding midfielders, with Lee McCulloch suspended for the trip to Prague, Paul Hartley injured and Barry Ferguson declining the latest chance to revive his international career.

And a fully-fit Thomson would certainly be a contender to start against the Czechs.

But Levein and Boro boss Gordon Strachan will be concerned that Thomson has not played since he was injured at Leicester on 14 August.

When you've got someone as good at putting the ball in the net as Kris (Boyd), for me, it feels a bit silly not to involve him in the squad

Kevin Thomson

"I've been out for six to seven weeks now and it was an eight to 10 week programme that I had so, fingers crossed, come Saturday I'll be back playing," explained Thomson.

"I'm desperate to be involved but it would obviously be down to the managers at Scotland and Middlesbrough, whether they thought I was fit enough."

The 25-year-old former Hibs and Rangers star was first capped in a friendly against Northern Ireland in August 2008 but did not make another international appearance until Levein took charge this year.

He started in the friendlies against Czech Republic and Sweden but a fractured fibula ruled him out of the Euro 2012 qualifying draw in Lithuania and the following win against Liechtenstein.

"I've always been the kind of player that needs a couple of games to get going," added Thomson, who resumed training with the first team at the Riverside this week.

"There was meant to be a game at the training ground on Wednesday but that has fallen through, so that's a wee bit of a blow.

"To only be involved against Portsmouth would determine how fit I'm going to be.

"I would never say no to playing, whether it was a club game or an international. I would always put myself forward to be in the firing line."

Thomson, who cost Middlesbrough £2m in the summer, has endured two lengthy lay-offs with cruciate ligament damage in his career and made light of his latest setback.

"I said to the manager at the time 'this is like a rip in the tights compared to what I've been through in the past'," he joked.

"What I've been through certainly stood me in good stead to deal with it."

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon
Gordon played a reserve match for Sunderland on Monday

While Thomson's chances of being involved for Scotland are slim, the odds of Craig Gordon being selected by Levein on Thursday are better.

The Sunderland goalkeeper has been out for two months with a broken arm but was on the bench at Liverpool at the weekend.

And the 27-year-old, capped 39 times, played a reserve game at Aston Villa on Monday.

Thomson's club-mates Barry Robson and Stephen McManus are certain to be in Levein's plans but the manager has chosen to overlook Kris Boyd, who has struggled for form since his move to Teeside.

"Boydie is one of these players that people either love or hate," said Thomson. "Most of the time he puts the ball in the net and some say he doesn't do too much else.

"But that's what football is all about and when you've got someone as good at putting the ball in the net as Kris, for me, it feels a bit silly not to involve him in the squad.

"But, if he's not playing regular club football, I can understand it."

Looking ahead to Scotland's double-header next month, Thomson believes the crucial tie is in Prague.

"When the group was drawn I think everyone thought the six points against Spain were pretty much going back to Spain but that's certainly not writing us off," he added.

"With a full Hampden, it will be a big game and I wouldn't rule out getting a point but they are far superior and I think it's important to look at the Czech game as the cup final of the two fixtures.

"If we can get a point over there it would be a fantastic result."




see also
Boyd trying too hard - Strachan
27 Sep 10 |  Scotland
No Scotland U-turn for Ferguson
27 Sep 10 |  Scotland


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