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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Thursday, 30 September 2010 11:33 UK

Scotland call on Craig Gordon and Gary Caldwell

Levein wants Scots hard to beat

Craig Gordon and Gary Caldwell have been recalled after injury to a Scotland squad that, as expected, has no place for striker Kris Boyd.

QPR striker Jamie Mackie is confirmed as having his first call-up for the Scots in place of Middlesbrough's Boyd.

Celtic winger Shaun Maloney also returns to Craig Levein's squad.

But Caldwell looks likely to feature in only one of the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Spain as part of an agreement with his club.

The defender has only played reserve football so far this season after having two hip operations during the summer.

And Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told BBC Sport: "We have a very good relationship with the Scotland camp. I think they know exactly where Gary is.

They know Gary can't be available for the two games but is capable of performing in one of the games

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez

"The two medical departments have been in contact and I am quite happy for Scotland to call Gary up and use his experience and leadership.

"And, physically, they know he can't be available for the two games but is capable of performing in one of the games.

"From our point of view, it would speed his rehabilitation period for Gary and get him closer to full fitness for the demands for the Barclays Premier League.

"And, mentally, it will be a great reward for Gary has been working as an example of the way you should be working behind the scenes and he deserves that call-up.

"The demands of international football are different from the demands of the Barclays Premier League and, at the moment, Gary is ready to play 45 minutes of international football if Craig Levein thinks that's what he wants."

Gordon is included ahead of Cardiff City's David Marshall despite Scotland's first-choice goalkeeper having yet to make a first-team appearance since recovering from a broken arm.


And Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said: "If I am being brutally honest, it is still a bit early and I wouldn't expect him to play for Scotland in them games considering he has had just one reserve game, trained for a week and been out for three months."

But Levein stressed: "I believe that he is some way towards full fitness and I feel it is important to get him back in the squad again.

"But I am really happy with Allan McGregor. I won't make any secret of it - Allan will be the starting keeper provided everything goes well between now and the first match.

"Gary is fit to play. Whether he is fully match fit is a different question and whether he is fit to play 90 minutes is another question.

"Gary is a really important player to me and the national team.

"Not only is he a good player, but he is a great leader and a good guy to have around the rest of the squad.

"I had a chat with his manager, Rob Martinez, and we are not going to do anything to jeopardise the lad.

"But he has been back in training and played a part in two reserve games, so he is not just back in the squad to gee people up, he is someone I will consider using if I think it is appropriate."

However, there is no place for Middlesbrough's Kevin Thomson despite the midfielder being ahead of schedule as he returns from a leg break.

Thomson's team-mate, Boyd, had already been told by Levein that he should concentrate on returning to goalscoring form after his summer switch from Rangers to the Championship club.

His place goes to 24-year-old English-born Mackie, who has been in fine form as Queens Park Rangers continue to lead the same division, while Birmingham's James McFadden misses out through injury.

Levein admitted that Boyd, who had previously withdrawn his services after being left out by previous manager George Burley, was unhappy at being dropped.

However, he said: "If you look at the strikers I have picked, I have picked players on form, that is basically it.

"I have had a chat with Kris and explained that to him.

"He is a top goalscorer and I have no doubt that, once he hits a bit of form, he will be back involved in the squad."

Lee McCulloch is included in the squad but is suspended for the first game against Czech Republic on 8 October.

So Caldwell could be an option for a holding role in midfield in Prague in the absence of injured Aberdeen veteran Paul Hartley and the Rangers player, who will be available for the match at Hampden four days later.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: McGregor (Rangers), Gilks (Blackpool), Gordon (Sunderland)
Defenders: Hutton (Tottenham), Berra (Wolves), Broadfoot (Rangers), McManus (Middlesbrough), G Caldwell (Wigan), Weir (Rangers), Whittaker (Rangers)
Midfielders: Adam (Blackpool), Brown (Celtic), Dorrans (West Brom), McCulloch (Rangers), Fletcher (Manchester United), Morrison (West Brom), Robson (Middlesbrough), McEveley (Barnsley), Maloney (Celtic)
Forwards: Fletcher (Wolves), Iwelumo (Burnley), Mackie (QPR), Miller (Rangers), Naismith (Rangers).

see also
Mackie proud of Scotland call-up
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Xavi to miss Spain's Glasgow trip
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Hughes offers Riordan Scots hope
30 Sep 10 |  Hibernian
Thomson cool on Scotland chances
28 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Boyd trying too hard - Strachan
27 Sep 10 |  Scotland
No Scotland U-turn for Ferguson
27 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Scotland to drop misfiring Boyd
26 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Mackie being considered for Scots
25 Sep 10 |  Scotland

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