Hughes had no qualms about late call to Japan

PUBLISHED: 02:02 10 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:35 10 September 2010

Norwich City midfielder Stephen Hughes revealed he never thought twice about his trans-Atlantic call-up to Scotland's squad for today's friendly against Japan.

Norwich City midfielder Stephen Hughes revealed he never thought twice about his trans-Atlantic call-up to Scotland's squad for today's friendly against Japan.

Hughes misses City's League One trip to Carlisle after answering Scottish boss George Burley's late SOS following a spate of withdrawals from the original squad.

The former Leicester and Motherwell man will hope to be rewarded with a first senior cap in Yokohama after flying out within hours of Norwich's Johnstone's Paint Trophy win at Gillingham.

“This is a chance I want to take,” he said. “I was delighted when I was told. I was playing in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy one minute - which is a small tournament, to be honest - and representing Scotland the next.”

Hughes revealed his long haul had the full backing of City boss and ex-Scottish international Paul Lambert.

“If some of the full squad were here then I wouldn't be, it's that obvious,” he said. “Paul spoke to me about how he made his Scotland debut in Japan and he told me to take my chance. Paul had a great Scotland career so it shows you what can happen for someone who plays in a friendly. I just hope I can play some part because I'd never given up hope of playing for Scotland.

“Maybe I could have had this call before in my career but you just keep hoping that days like this one do arrive for you.

“Thankfully, that is what has happened for me. I'm in League One now but it is still a competitive division and there are some very big clubs there. We're getting 25,000 crowds at Norwich which maybe people in Scotland don't fully appreciate.”

Hughes is in familiar company with many of the Scotland players who featured in May's 3-0 'B' international friendly win over Northern Ireland poised to appear in the Far East.

“There's about half the squad here who are looking to grab this chance,” he said. “I felt that playing for the 'B' team last year at Broadwood. I played that night hoping it would be a passport to the full squad one day and it has happened. All of those guys I am talking about are simply trying to get a foot in the door with Scotland. We've spoken among ourselves about it on the flight over. It is an important game. It is your national team and it is a real honour to play for Scotland. Every single guy here feels like that.”

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