Grant Hanley pleased with return to Scotland line-up
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 25/03/18 1:57pm
Grant Hanley admits his Scotland recall was a boost as he looks to cement a place in Alex McLeish's back line.
The 26-year-old centre-half made his first Scotland start since the Wembley defeat to England in November 2016 as Scotland lost 1-0 to Costa Rica in McLeish's first match back in charge on Friday night.
He started the first four matches of Scotland's failed World Cup qualifying campaign but his only appearance last year was as a second-half substitute for the injured Charlie Mulgrew in a 2-0 home win over Malta.
Hanley has made 28 appearances for Norwich since moving to Carrow Road at the end of August following a frustrating year at Newcastle, where he started just five league games and is now looking to continue pushing on for club and country.
"It was great to be back out there," Hanley said. "Obviously I missed out on the last squad which I was gutted about. But I can understand that, I wasn't playing, I hadn't played a game for a while.
"That's what happens, if you're not playing at your club you are not going to get picked for your national team.
"So for me it was a huge boost to get back in the squad and to get some minutes under my belt, I was really pleased with it.
"It's nice to be playing regularly again and getting a start when I come away.
"Any player will tell you, if you are not playing regularly then you are not at your best. It's good to be back playing regularly and feeling that I am going out there and I'm fit."
Hanley is enjoying working with former centre-back McLeish and is focused on helping the side produce and improved performance when they take on Hungary in a friendly on Tuesday.
"Obviously it's a bonus for the defenders, the centre-halves especially, to have someone like that who has played at that level and has that much experience," Hanley said.
"It's important for us to pick up on all the wee things that we can for that.
"It's all about improving and learning and taking the positives from Friday night. The boys will be going into Tuesday to try to get better. It's going to be a tough game, at this level there is never any easy games.
"You have to be prepared for it, but at this moment in time the most important thing for us is to stay focused on ourselves, keep working hard and keep taking on board the new ideas from the new manager and staff."
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