Celtic star Leigh could still gets Scots call

LEIGH GRIFFITHS' disappointment at being left out of the Scotland squad for the friendly against Poland on March 5 could be short-lived.

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Leigh Griffiths could see a Scotland return if Steven Fletcher, above, pulls out
Leigh Griffiths could see a Scotland return if Steven Fletcher, above, pulls out

While the Celtic striker was not included by manager Gordon Strachan in his 24-man travelling party, there are already doubts about Steven Fletcher's involvement in the game.

If the Sunderland front man does withdraw, that could open the door for Griffiths - who has won three of his four caps under Strachan - to win a recall.

Fletcher has been struggling with an Achilles' tendon injury and is being used sparingly by Black Cats boss, Gus Poyet, in the hope he will be fit to play in the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City on March 2.

With the Scotland squad due to fly out to Poland 48 hours later, any reaction to playing at Wembley would give Fletcher very little time to recover.

The only recognised strikers named in the squad are Fletcher, Ross McCormack and Steven Naismith.

And, while there are midfielders who can be pushed forward, the withdrawal of any of the named trio is likely to prompt Strachan to look for a replacement.

Fletcher suffered a serious ankle injury while playing for Scotland against Wales last March, ruling him out for all of Sunderland's run in to the season.

He also had to withdraw from the trip to face Norway in November after picking up another injury in the friendly against the Unuted States a few days earlier.

Since then, he has suffered a shoulder injury and has more recently been battling to overcome his Achilles' problem, leading to speculation he would not be made available for the match in Poland.

But the national team boss revealed: "I have spoken to Gus Poyet, and he is more than happy for us to have Steven in the squad.

"I have also spoken to Steven, and he just wants more Scotland caps, which is encouraging.

"I wasn't sure if the Capital One final would be a bit of a problem with Gus' players (defender Phil Bardsley has also been named).But he said he will leave it up to me and to them."

So, the door may not be completely closed to Griffiths, who Strachan has said is not being penalised for tweeting his disappointment at being overlooked when Fletcher, Jordan Rhodes and McCormack pulled out of the game in Norway.

The Hoops new Bhoy has three games between now and the squad flying to Poland to show he is back to the form which saw him break into the Scotland squad.


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