City defender earns Scotland recall

Grant Hanley is back in the international fold with Scotland. Picture: PA

Grant Hanley is back in the international fold with Scotland. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Norwich City skipper Grant Hanley has been handed a recall by Scotland for their upcoming play-off final against Serbia and two Nation League matches against Slovakia and Israel.

Hanley’s last appearance for Scotland came in a 1-0 friendly defeat against Costa Rica in March 2018 but manager Steve Clarke is looking forward to getting a closer look at the defender.

“Grant is a player I’ve always had in my mind,” said Clarke, who also included City midfielder Kenny McLean in the squad. “I think he often gets forgotten about in Scotland as they only see him play international matches. He’s had a difficult time with injuries but he’s always someone I’ve had my eye on and it’ll be good to have a look at him up close.”

Leigh Griffiths and Craig Gordon were the other two stand-out names to be included in a 27-man squad that Clarke hopes can build on the progress made so far.

“Since the games last month this has been something to look forward to and it’s a big moment for the country,” he told the SFA website. “We’ve named a larger squad than usual and if you look at what happened the last time the squad met up with the Covid incident in camp we know anything can happen at any time so we need to be able to deal with that.

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“It was easier the last time as we were based in Scotland but this time we’re going on a road trip. When we leave for Serbia we don’t come back, we’ll go to Slovakia and Israel.

“That presents a different challenge but there’s big rewards to be had at the end of it I’m sure they’ll be focused and ready to do their best for their country.

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“Leigh Griffiths’ qualities show for themselves, off the back of his goal against Aberdeen in the league, and he can add something to the squad for sure.

“That’s the same as Craig Gordon and Grant Hanley. They know their jobs and I’m pleased to have them involved in the squad.

“Our aim is to get the country back to a major finals. Hopefully we can do it and everyone involved will get a little bit of credit but the majority of the credit would go to the players as they are the ones that will be out on the pitch.”

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