McManus gets Scots call
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Celtic defender Stephen McManus has been called-up to Scotland's get-together.
Celtic defender Stephen McManus has been called-up to Scotland's get-together this week.
The 22-year-old was originally left out of Scotland's squad for the training camp ahead of next month's Euro 2008 qualifier with Faroe Islands.
McManus was called up for the Kirin Cup in May, but was forced to pull out because of club commitments with Celtic.
The tall defender has been drafted into the squad for the get-together after David Weir, Steven Caldwell and Jackie McNamara were all forced to withdraw.
Scotland boss Walter Smith has now revealed McManus will get the chance to impress during the two day training camp.
"You can only bring so many players for each position and the defenders who did well in Japan deserved to have their names on the list first," said Smith.
"That is why Stephen was not involved in the first place, it is as simple as that.
"Since we announced the original squad, Steven Caldwell and David Weir picked up injuries, while there were doubts about Jackie McNamara.
"They are three of our regular defenders, so I needed to bring someone in and Stephen will now get his chance.
"This is a big opportunity for him, he has settled in well with the boys and we will see how he does."
McManus has impressed over the last 12 months at Celtic and the defender is keen to catch Smith's eye."I believe I can play at this level but it's up to the manager, he picks the team but hopefully I can catch his eye," said McManus.
"The most important thing is to keep progressing at club level because that's the only way you can get in the national side.
"The country's in a hole in football terms. We've not been to a major competition for a number of years now but all the players certainly believe in their own ability and when you've got confidence you can achieve anything.
"We're all willing to work hard, there are no superstars in the side and we need to make up for it in other ways. I've noticed straight away that there's a fantastic spirit.
"I certainly don't fear stepping up to this level, that's for sure. If you're playing for one of the biggest clubs in the country and at a top level like the Champions League I don't see why you can't go on and play at international level."