Kennedy puts Scotland career on hold

PUBLISHED: 09:53 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:45 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Defender John Kennedy is content to put his Scotland ambitions on hold as he rebuilds his club career with Norwich City.

The centre-half, on loan from Celtic until January 1, suffered a serious knee ligament injury on his international debut against Romania in 2004, and was sidelined for three years.

Defender John Kennedy is content to put his Scotland ambitions on hold as he rebuilds his club career with Norwich City.

The centre-half, on loan from Celtic until January 1, suffered a serious knee ligament injury on his international debut against Romania in 2004, and was sidelined for three years.

Kennedy, who also won 15 caps for Scotland Under-21s, is hoping he can return to the international fold under new manager George Burley, but all his attention is currently focused on the Canaries, for whom he was expected to make his fifth appearance in today's Championship match at Plymouth.

Asked if he thought he had a chance of figuring in Burley's plans, the 25-year-old said: “There are plenty of players in the Scotland set-up playing down in England but I think he's certain to see a lot of games and he's got people watching all over the place. I don't see why not but I'll just keep playing here and concentrate on that.

“It's important for me just to play football and concentrate on that first and foremost and then worry about that later. If it comes along, great, but if not, not to worry.”

The shoulder damage suffered by City's Sammy Clingan on duty for Northern Ireland against the Czech Republic on Wednesday was a painful reminder of what it is like for players to miss vital club matches because of injury on international duty.

Said Kennedy: “Everyone at the club wants to play for their country and I don't think they mean to get injured, but it's a bit frustrating when they're important to the team.”

Kennedy believes French signing Antoine Sibierski will give City “a different dimension” as they look to climb the Championship table.

He said: “I think we will still play the way we have done and doing what we were doing. I think it will just give us a different option at times.

“There are some games where it's a bit hustle and bustle and not too nice and sometimes you need to just put it up there and hopefully somebody can hold it. Having someone like that with a bit of height and presence will give us that option at times.

“But we will still stick to our same gameplan. We will try to play and if it is not on, we will try to look to that.”

He admitted the Championship was a much more level playing field than the Scottish Premier League.

He said: “I think every game is hard for everyone. You go into every game believing you can win but there are times in Scotland when smaller teams come to Celtic and Rangers not expecting to get anything.

“We travelled to Cardiff expecting to win. Even against Birmingham, we expected to win. It just shows the league is wide open.”

Kennedy, forming a good understanding with fellow new signing Dejan Stefanovic, almost grabbed his first City goal with a header late in the 1-1 draw against Birmingham and is keen to get off the mark.

He said: “I think everyone playing should be looking to try to score, it's not just the strikers. Everyone has to take it on themselves to try to chip in with the odd goal and I hope myself or Dejan will be able to do that.”

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