Grant Hanley raring to go for Scotland in Croatia

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Grant Hanley has declared himself fit and ready to go against Croatia tomorrow night.

The Blackburn Rovers defender had sparked concern when he was forced to withdraw from a training session earlier in the week after going over on his ankle.

However, Hanley travelled with the rest of the squad to Zagreb yesterday and says he is ready to shore up a weakened defence in the World Cup qualifier. “It was just a precaution really. My ankle will be fine and I will be fine,” he said.

Fellow defender Gordon Greer is the latest casualty after failing to recover from tonsillitis in time, meaning even more onus on Hanley in defence if given the nod.

And he admits this encounter, against a side joint top of the group, is the biggest challenge he has faced yet on the international stage.

He said: “I would say so. They are probably the highest ranked team.

“We just have to be positive. You never have an easy game when you go into internationals.

“We know the quality of players they’ve got but we’ve done our homework and we will be prepared so we are looking forward to it. We know it will be a good test.”

With Scott Brown, James Forrest, Danny Fox, Lee Wallace, Gary Caldwell and Liam Bridcutt forced to withdraw through injury, the Scots have taken an inexperienced squad to Croatia.

Hanley said: “All the boys who have come in have done well. Everyone has settled in well and it’s a good bunch of boys. They are all up for it.”

He admits a draw would be a positive result for a Scotland side yet to register a win in the group. He said: “To play against a side of Croatia’s quality and get a draw, it’s always going to be a good result. We are prepared and we’re looking forward to it.”