CHARLIE MULGREW has been included in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad – after only 45 MINUTES of first team action this year.
Celtic’s stand-in skipper made his comeback as a second-half substitute in Friday night’s goalless draw against St Johnstone after being out since limping off with a knee injury in the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle on December 3.
However, Strachan has kept faith the versatile player and named him for next month’s games against Qatar, a friendly at Easter Road, and the crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
Mulgrew admitted in CQN Magazine on Saturday – 24 hours ahead of the national press – that he hoped his old Hoops gaffer hadn’t forgotten him. Strachan didn’t hesitate in naming the 29-year-old defender-cum-midfielder in his pool.
He is joined in the international set-up by club team-mates Leigh Griffiths, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, goalkeeper Craig Gordon, midfield skipper Scott Brown and winger James Forrest.
A total of 26 players have been named in the squad for the matches with against Qatar on Friday June 5 before taking on the Irish at the Aviva Stadium on June 13.
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The full Scotland squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Craig Gordon (Celtic)
, Scott Bain (Dundee), David Marshall (Cardiff City);
DEFENDERS: Christophe Berra (Ipswich), Craig Forsyth (Derby), Gordon Greer (Brighton), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen), Andrew Robertson (Hull) Steven Whittaker (Norwich):
MIDFIELDERS: Charlie Adam (Stoke), Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace), Scott Brown (Celtic), Darren Fletcher (West Brom), James Forrest (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire), James Morrison (West Brom), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth);
FORWARDS: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Steven Naismith (Everton), Johnny Russell (Derby).