No Bardsley doubts for Levein
Scotland boss Craig Levein would not have any doubts about handing Phil Bardsley his international debut.
Last Updated: 06/10/10 10:45pm
Scotland manager Craig Levein would not have any doubts about handing Phil Bardsley his international debut in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Czech Republic.
The 25-year-old Sunderland defender has been handed a late call-up to the squad in order to provide cover after Alan Hutton suffered a groin strain.
Bardsley, who qualifies through his Glaswegian father, could therefore be thrown straight into the action against the Czechs on Friday, despite dismissing the idea of representing Scotland as a teenager.
Asked if he would be happy for the former Rangers and Manchester United player to start the match, Levein said: "If the situation means that Phil has to play, then yes.
"He played last week against Manchester United for Sunderland. He's an experienced enough player and I don't have any qualms about that at all."
Change of heart
Levein, who flew to Prague with his squad on Wednesday afternoon, added with regards to Bardsley's eligibility: "It's been a bit rushed to be honest.
"We have been aware of Phil's eligibility for a while, it was just a matter of finding out if he was going to commit to playing for Scotland.
"We chased it up and found out that he had a change of heart from a couple of years ago and he's desperate to be involved.
"We tried to progress things as quickly as possible and everything has been done. He's another experienced but young player who fits into the profile.
"I'm really pleased to have him on board. He's playing every week in the Premier League, which is a big plus for us."
But Levein has not surrendered all hope of having Tottenham full-back Hutton available for the Group I outing.
The Scotland boss said: "He did a little and felt better than he did on Tuesday. He maybe has an 80 per cent chance but I'm guessing.
"I see a general improvement on the injury and the amount of positive feedback I'm getting."
Levein is also hopeful goalkeeper Allan McGregor will prove his fitness ahead of the match.
He said: "He's fairly positive. He did a little bit, not a full session. He's had a recurring thigh strain which he's played with.
However, Levein refused to be drawn on speculation that Kenny Miller will be dropped on Friday night, with the Rangers striker hoping to earn his 50th cap.
"The team will be named as usual 24 hours before the match," he said. "I'm not going to make any comments at this moment in time about who's playing and who's not."