May 26 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 8, 2013
Norwich City midfielder Robert Snodgrass would relish the chance to link up with Russell Martin on the international stage after the duo’s latest Scotland call-up for World Cup qualifiers later this month.
The Canaries’ right-sided combination have yet to feature in tandem for their country but were yesterday included in Gordon Strachan’s first competitive squad for upcoming tests against Wales and Serbia.
“I’ve not played with Russ once with Scotland,” said Snodgrass. “You get into the national team and when they see you as being at international level, you need to be ready whoever you’re playing with. They think you should be good enough to play at that level. It doesn’t matter who’s in front of you, who’s behind you. It would help a lot more if you were playing with these players week in, week out. We maybe get five days training in beforehand and playing with players in your team does help, but Russ hasn’t really had his chance.
“Alan Hutton is in there and has been playing regularly and as for me, I’m still trying to get a run of games as well. I feel as if when I’ve had a chance and started a few games, I’ve done well, so I need to keep believing in myself and trying to push myself into the manager’s plans and I hope I can get a start and try to help them to victory.”
Snodgrass knows the scale of the task facing the Scots to salvage anything from a disappointing qualifying campaign against a powerful Serbian outfit and a Wales team likely to feature the Premier League’s in-form performer Gareth Bale.
“Everybody is talking about him just now. He is on fire, but as a footballer you concentrate on your own team and try to do as well as you possibly can,” he said. “If you’re call upon you need to be ready so I am looking forward to it. This one has not gone to plan at the start, but it might just be the case that teams are too good for us.
“We’re up against someone like Serbia, who are probably the third most expensive team in the world, and there is a lot of expectation because there are some good Scottish players coming through and also playing at a higher level, which is good for the country, but you cannot just say because of that it will happen against these teams.
“You need to get things right on match day, and sometimes it just does not go to plan, which is probably why we had the (managerial) change. Hopefully we can put things right.”
Snodgrass was part of Strachan’s first get together for a 1-0 friendly win over Estonia and the City midfielder says his initial impressions were positive.
“I thought he was bringing in different ideas to the way we’ve played under previous managers and he’s given a lot of different people a call-up, which is interesting,” he said.
“He’s got his way on how he wants to do things and you need to fit in with that. If he wants you to play that way, he will try to stress to you the way he wants you to play in that certain position. The way he goes about his business is he wants us to press and to play football. We’ve had players come in and out of the set-up and I think he’s trying to get a balanced squad of players who can play in certain positions he wants.
“I’m just happy to be part of that and hope I can continue to be in his plans and try to get minutes under my belt and help the country. I think I’ll get to know him a little bit more because we’re going away for two weeks, two tough games. We’ve got a game at Hampden and there is no better stage really than playing there for your country.”
Strachan sprang a major surprise in his first competitive squad by calling up Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt. The 23-year-old Reading-born midfielder was joined by Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven and Peterborough winger George Boyd in getting his first call-up. Boyd, who is currently on loan at Hull, previously featured for Scotland B in 2009 but had never made a full squad.
Southampton left-back Danny Fox has been recalled while there is no place for Rangers’ Lee Wallace or Phil Bardsley. Blackpool winger Matt Phillips and QPR forward Jamie Mackie both drop out as does injured Celtic captain Scott Brown.
• Scotland squad: Gilks (Blackpool), Marshall (Cardiff), McGregor (Besiktas); Berra (Wolves), Caldwell (Wigan), Fox (Southampton), Hanley (Blackburn), Hutton (Mallorca), Martin (Norwich), Mulgrew (Celtic), Webster (Hearts); Adam (Stoke), Bridcutt (Brighton), Burke (Birmingham), Commons (Celtic), Dorrans (West Brom), Forrest (Celtic), Mackay-Steven (Dundee Utd), McArthur (Wigan), Morrison (WBA), Snodgrass (Norwich); Boyd (Hull), Fletcher (Sunderland), McCormack (Leeds), Maloney (Wigan), Miller (Vancouver), Naismith (Everton), Rhodes (Blackburn).
In the final part of a three-part series dissecting the Canaries’ successful battle to retain their Premier League status, Norwich City writer Paddy Davitt highlights the underlying factors behind a slim goal return.