'Auld Enemy' clash on the backburner for City captain
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Facing ‘Auld Enemy’ England in a European Championship cracker can wait for Scottish international Grant Hanley until Norwich City are back in the big time.
The City skipper’s superb form for the Premier League-bound Canaries this season has earned him a recall for his country.
Hanley played all three games over the recent international period, and is poised to be in Steve Clarke’s squad for the upcoming delayed European Championships.
That raises the prospect of a mouthwatering group game against bitter rivals England at Wembley on June 18.
But Hanley’s sole focus remains leading his club back to the top flight, with a win over Bournemouth at Carrow Road on Saturday night sealing their Premier League return.
“It’s important to concentrate on the job in hand first,” he said. “If me and Kenny (McLean) keep playing here, stay fit and look after ourselves then we’ll have a good chance of being involved with Scotland in the summer, which is where we want to be.
"But we’ve got a job to do here first and that’s what we’re focusing on.
“For me it’s been a frustrating two or three years so I’m happy to get a level of consistency and stay fit really and in the team and playing every week, that’s where you want to be as a footballer.”
Hanley now has 32 caps for his country after featuring in the last three World Cup qualifiers following a three-year absence.
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“I was proud, going away. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the squad so it was kind of new again to me, I had a bit of excitement and nerves,” he said. “I wondered how it would go, I didn’t expect to go there and play every minute but the manager threw me in and I was happy with that, I’d love to play every minute.
“I’m proud to play for my country and it’s been frustrating not to get as many caps as I would have liked, but I was pleased with that and it went well for us as well so it was positive.”
The former Blackburn trainee has been on the end of two losing ‘Auld Enemy’ clashes against England at Wembley earlier in his career.
Norwich's season is schedule to finish at Barnsley on May 8.
City’s Scottish duo could then come up against club mates Tim Krul and Danel Sinani if they make the Scotland cut, with pre-tournament friendlies in early June against Holland and Luxembourg respectively.
Their Euros campaign begins in Glasgow on June 14 against the Czech Republic, before a trip to Wembley and a final group test at Hampden against Croatia.