Scotland pick England international

PA Sport
Matt Phillips

View photo

Matt Phillips

England Under-20 international Matt Phillips and Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew have been called up for the first time by Craig Levein for Scotland's friendly international in Slovenia next week.

The Scottish Football Association are awaiting clearance from FIFA to select Blackpool winger Phillips, but expect to receive that this week.

Mulgrew's cause was championed by Celtic manager Neil Lennon after he scored during his side's 5-0 win against Hibernian.

Phillips, 20, was born in Aylesbury and has represented England at under-19 and under-20 level but has opted to play for Scotland, for whom he qualifies through his grandparents.

Scotland manager Levein said: "This is not one of those cases that we have been researching and found on our own. This came from his family to us, if you know what I mean. It is quite a big decision, as you can imagine, to change nationality but he is very excited about the prospect of being involved.

"His grandfather is very proud I can tell you, and so is his family. Everybody has their own reasons for wanting to play for Scotland. But if he is half as successful as guys like James Morrison, Jamie Mackie, Craig Mackail-Smith and Phil Bardsley then I will be delighted.

"He is a young guy who has a tremendous amount of potential and I am extremely excited about him being involved for Scotland."

Dead-ball specialist Mulgrew, 25, has scored four goals this season and recently captained Celtic when Scott Brown was injured.

"He has been in good form," Levein said. "I tried to bring him into the squad for the game in Cyprus but he had an injury. He deserves to be in the squad. He has been excellent."

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who returned to reserve team action in January after 11 months out following a knee injury, is back in the squad. The former Hearts keeper, 29, has not played first-team football since a home defeat to Tottenham in February 12, 2011.

View comments (0)