Whittaker: Scots kids are all right

SCOTLAND star Steven Whittaker reckons the next national manager will benefit from the talented kids pushing for a place in the squad.

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Caretaker manager Billy Stark handed debuts to a number of players in the 2-1 victory over Luxembourg.

Striker Jordan Rhodes made the most of the opportunity to start the game as he netted both goals and the friendly has now given the likes of Andrew Shinnie, Liam Kelly, Leigh Griffiths and Murray Davidson a taste of senior international football.

Despite Craig Levein's replacement likely to recall all the experienced players who were either rested or were forced to withdraw through injury, Whittaker says the new gaffer will now have even more of a selection headache on account of the emerging talent.

He said: "Friendlies are very useful when it comes to bringing in youngsters, giving them experience, and letting them see what the international set-up is all about.

"The boys have all been playing well for their clubs and are here on merit. They deserved their chance and they will hope to add to that.

"There is a lot of talent in the Under-21s just now too, so it can only be a good thing if these young players keep coming through.

"The main thing is that it was good to finish the year on a positive note with a win. We don't know what's going to happen in terms of a new manager coming in, so all we can do is keep playing and adding wins."

The Norwich defender picked up his first cap since the friendly defeat in the USA in May after missing the poor start to the World Cup qualifying campaign which cost Levein his job.

And he believes there were plenty of positives for interim coach Stark's depleted side.

Whittaker said: "I thought we deserved the win based on the quality of our play in the first half, although the second half was more difficult.

"We really needed to keep the ball a bit better to build on our lead.

"The second half didn't quite go to plan after we lost that early goal, and credit to them, they made it hard work for us.

"I thought it showed two sides to the boys though. We had some good attacking play and got a couple of goals in the first half, then managed to dig in and stay in the game in the second.

"We had a couple of chances to get a third goal, and obviously it would have been easier if we had opened up the two-goal cushion again.

"Jordan showed what he can do. It would have been a nice one for him personally, as well as the team, if his third goal had stood, but it wasn't to be."


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