Scotland: Lee Wallace and Shaun Maloney return for World Cup qualifiers

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has named his squad for October's double header

Manager Gordon Strachan has recalled Shaun Maloney and Lee Wallace for Scotland's World Cup qualifying double header with Lithuania and Slovakia.

Both missed the 5-1 win over Malta, though Wallace had pulled out of the squad through injury.

Maloney, 33, scored five times for Scotland during their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

"We've changed it a bit and you can see there's a lot of younger players in the squad," said Strachan.

"If they're good enough we'll stick them in, we'll bypass the under-19s, the under-21s."

Scotland face Lithuania at Hampden on 8 October, followed by a trip to Trnava to face Slovakia three days later.

The Scotland boss is adamant the Lithuania match is not a must-win game.

Maloney has featured five times this season for Hull City, though has started just two of the games.

Strachan has also named three left backs in the squad, with Rangers captain Wallace joining Celtic's Kieran Tierney and Hull City's Andrew Robertson.

"He (Maloney) has been used as a substitute quite a lot with Hull, played last week against Stoke, had a terrific game," said Strachan.

"Professionalism, ability, intellect, willingness to play for Scotland, so he's got all these traits that we want here."

He added: "We've got to look at the two games and what we want to try and do. I think the partnership between him (Wallace) and Barrie (McKay) over the last 18 months has been terrific, and cemented by doing the same thing in the Premiership.

"I think their partnership has been excellent. He gives us height, strength, and a bit of experience as well."

Strachan urged his young players to seek first team football in order to push for a place in the squad, saying he "can't be bothered" going to watch potential call-ups play in youth games.

Oliver Burke
Oliver Burke left Nottingham Forest for RB Leipzig during the transfer window

He pointed to Oliver Burke who has moved to the German Bundesliga with RB Leipzig, but said the move will only be a good one if he plays regularly in the first team.

"I think they'll look after him well, there's a good coach there, it's a good league to be in, and he's quite willing to go out there and take the challenge," said the Scotland boss.

"The most important thing between 19 and 21 is to make sure you get loads of games, that's what I'm hoping for. I want to see players playing first team football.

"I think only Allan Hutton you could say bucks the trend when he wasn't playing for Aston Villa, but played for us and he was terrific. But generally over the last 18 months I've been looking at players who have not been in the team."

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Celtic), Jack Hamilton (Hearts), David Marshall (Hull City).

Defenders: Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Gordon Greer (Blackburn Rovers), Grant Hanley (Newcastle United), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Callum Paterson (Hearts), Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Kieran Tierney (Celtic), Lee Wallace (Rangers).

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Derby County), Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday), Oliver Burke (RB Leipzig), Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), John McGinn (Hibs), Barrie Mckay (Rangers), Shaun Maloney (Hull City), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Robert Snodgrass (Hull City).

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Norwich City).

Top Stories