Craig Gordon to end four-year international exile

After sparkling form in his comeback season both in domestic and European competition, Gordon is set to play for the first time under Gordon Strachan. Picture: SNS
After sparkling form in his comeback season both in domestic and European competition, Gordon is set to play for the first time under Gordon Strachan. Picture: SNS
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CRAIG Gordon is set to earn his first senior cap in four years when Scotland face England on Tuesday evening.

The 31-year-old Celtic goalkeeper made the last of his 40 international appearances on 16 November 2010, in a friendly win against the Faroe Islands. After that, a two-year period out of the game due to knee problems left many wondering if Gordon would ever play again, never mind represent his country.

Now, after sparkling form in his comeback season both in domestic and European competition, Gordon is set to play for the first time under Gordon Strachan at the keeper’s home ground of Celtic Park in two days’ time.

Gordon is in line for a Scotland return after Strachan admitted that first choice No.1 David Marshall, of Cardiff City, is struggling with a “bit of a groin strain” following the 1-0 Euro 2016 Group D win over Republic of Ireland on Friday night. With Hull City’s Allan McGregor missing from the squad because of a shoulder injury, Strachan hinted at Gordon’s return by responding that it was “a thought” to change keeper and give the Celtic man an outing.

The Scotland manager could make a number of changes to the side that faced Ireland for the visit of Roy Hodgson’s team.

Steven Fletcher yesterday returned to his club, Sunderland, for a scan on an ankle injury he picked up against the Irish, and Strachan seemed keen to push the case for Derby County forward Chris Martin when considering possible replacements.

“I watched Chris in last week’s 5-0 win [over Wolves] and he was terrific,” said Strachan. “If you ask anyone…ask Darren Fletcher, he thinks he’s absolutely terrific to play with. So, it would be nice to have a look at him.”

Meanwhile, James Morrison should return to the Scotland side after overcoming the sickness bug that resulted in him being confined to his room for the Ireland encounter.

“Callum Paterson, who was sharing with him, had to go to another room [so it didn’t spread]. As soon as he opened the door to me, I could see [he was ill]. He didn’t need to say anything, I was like ‘wooooh, you cannae play’,” said Strachan, who expects the West Brom midfielder to be back in training today.

He will be joined at that session by Lewis Macleod, who was released 
to play for Rangers against Alloa yesterday, ahead of rejoining the squad last night.