WILLIE Miller has urged Scotland manager Gordon Strachan to consider Aberdeen central defender Mark Reynolds for a call-up to his squad for next month’s friendly in Poland.
Uncapped Reynolds has been a key figure in Aberdeen’s resurgence this season, forming an impressive partnership at the heart of their back four with captain Russell Anderson.
Former Aberdeen captain and manager Miller believes the duo are the most effective defensive pairing the Pittodrie club have had since he and Alex McLeish were the lynchpins of their glory days under Alex Ferguson in the 1980s.
Miller has been especially impressed by 26-year-old Reynolds and believes the time is right for the former Motherwell and Sheffield Wednesday player to be afforded full international recognition.
Reynolds last represented his country in a B international against Northern Ireland five years ago but Miller insists he has a strong case to be included in Strachan’s plans for the challenge match against Poland in Warsaw on 5 March as preparation intensifies for the start of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign later this year.
“I’m not trying to tell Gordon his job, but there are a lot of important games coming up for Scotland and I’m sure he is looking at Mark Reynolds,” said 65-times capped Miller. “He’s the right age, he’s got that pace and he has experience now. He is playing for a good team with a lot of confidence.
“He’s definitely a good central defender. His defensive play is of the highest order. He also has one thing that I never had, and that’s pace. He doesn’t have to think too much about the game, whereas I had to think my way through every game.
“His pace is electric. There’s not many who go by him and at international level, I think that’s very important. You’ve either got to be a great thinker or very fast in that position and I think he is putting himself forward for a Scotland place.”
Miller was at Celtic Park on Saturday to witness Aberdeen’s 2-1 defeat of the Scottish Cup holders, earning themselves a home quarter-final tie against Dumbarton. The Dons also have a League Cup final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle to look forward to next month when 35-year-old captain Russell Anderson could lift the club’s first piece of silverware since 1995.
“I think it could be the case that Anderson and Reynolds are the best centre back pairing at the club since myself and Alex (McLeish),” added Miller.
“They have been outstanding as a partnership. Anderson has been there before, then got his move down to England and came back again at probably the tail-end of his career with all the experience in the world.
“Reynolds is more youthful and when Russell is lacking a wee bit of pace or misses the odd challenge – which doesn’t happen too often – Reynolds is there to cover for him. It is a very, very good partnership.”