May 22 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Scotland assistant boss Mark McGhee revealed yesterday that Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker has a major part to play in Gordon Strachan’s new national era after a surprise call-up for World Cup qualifiers.
Whittaker joins City team mates Robert Snodgrass and Russell Martin in the latest Scottish squad after the withdrawals of Ross McCormack, James Forrest and Danny Fox from the original party for upcoming qualifiers against Serbia and Wales.
The 28-year-old made his long-awaited senior comeback in the weekend’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Sunderland. Whittaker was introduced for the final minute of normal time at the Stadium of Light in his first competitive action since late December due to a hip problem.
“Gordon spoke to Chris Hughton and Steven and feels he has done enough to be here if he is needed,” said McGhee. “We probably feel he hasn’t played enough games that he would be in serious contention, but I think he is one the manager feels will be here in the future.”
Whittaker will provide defensive cover with Fox ruled out with the thigh injury that has caused him to miss Southampton’s last two games. Leeds forward McCormack sat out their Championship weekend defeat to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield with a head injury.
Celtic wide player Forrest was pulled out of the squad by Hoops’ boss Neil Lennon after missing the Parkhead club’s 4-3 league win over Aberdeen with an on going back problem.
“He is going to see a specialist on Tuesday, he may need an injection in his back which might keep him out for another couple of weeks,” said Lennon. “He is a huge loss. I think he is a class player and he has shown that but it has been stop-start for him. It is a concern for him, I don’t think he is fully developed yet.”