NEIL LENNON is backing Scott Bain to continue his “meteoric” rise from Celtic back-up keeper to Scotland’s No.1.
The 27-year-old shotstopper, who has taken the gloves from Craig Gordon since the turn of the year, has been included in Alex McLeish’s international squad for the Euro 2022 qualifiers against Kazakhstan on Thursday and San Marino three days later.
Ibrox veteran Allan McGregor announced his decision to retire from playing for his country earlier this week and Bain now appears to be in pole position to guard the Scots’ goal.
McLeish also named Millwall’s Jordan Archer and Sunderland’s Jon McLaughlin in his player pool, but the form of the former Dundee goalie, who will face his old club at Dens Park on Sunday, should see him getting the nod to start in Kazakhstan.
Bain has conceded only two goals in 12 domestic encounters in 2019 since his promotion. He had been beaten only once – by Patrick Thistle in the Betfred League Cup opener in August – in five appearances in the earlier months of the term.
It’s changed days for the shotstopper who had been frozen out at the Tayside outfit by ex-gaffer Neil McCann following an off-the-field fall-out before his loan switch to Parkhead in January 2018 after originally agreeing to join Hibs.
ON THE UP…Scott Bain’s career is on the rise.
Lennon, speaking to STV, said: “I think he probably will be number one for Scotland. I’m not trying to tell Big Eck how to do his job, but he has been in superb form.
“I know him very well. I had him at Hibs for a brief time, so I am a big fan of his.
“The improvement in him since he has come here has been huge. He has really filled into the jersey and he has been exceptionally good and I will be delighted if he is number one. I’m sure he won’t let anybody down.
“It has been meteoric, the last year or so for him. There is nice composure about him, he has got good hands, a good agility and he’s certainly playing very well for me.”
Lennon also gave an update on Gordon, who has been out injured recently.
The Hoops gaffer added: “He had a bit of a knee problem. He had an injection in it and it hasn’t really settled.
“He is going to be assessed by specialists over the next couple of days and we can come to some sort of impasse where he may need another injection to settle everything down to get him back to training.
“It has been a little bit of overuse. When he has been playing he has been able to rest, but the fact that he hasn’t been playing he has been training a lot more and it has just flared up an old problem.”
Veteran Dutch netminder Dorus de Vries, who will leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires, will be on the subs’ bench at Dens Park.