DCSIMG

Garry O'Connor and Jay McEveley called in to plug the gaps

Garry O'Connor, the Birmingham City striker, has been called up by Scotland manager Craig Levein for the up-coming European Championship qualifying games with Lithuania and Liechtenstein and will be on the plane which departs from Glasgow airport for Kaunas today.

Barnsley defender Jay McEveley also returns to the international squad after left-back Lee Wallace's withdrawal. O'Connor, who has appeared just once for Scotland since 2007 and has seen his Birmingham career bedevilled by injury, will provide Levein with another option in attack after Chris Iwelumo dropped out of the squad due to a hamstring injury.

The former Hibs striker has featured just twice for Birmingham this season after spending much of last season on the sidelines due to complication arising from a groin injury. He featured for nine minutes as a late substitute against the Netherlands last September but hasn't started an international fixture since the last time Scotland faced Lithuania, three years ago.

O'Connor has scored four goals in 16 appearances for Scotland but will be chiefly remembered for going Awol from the squad before a match against Ukraine during Walter Smith's time as manager. He later explained that this had been due to personal problems within his family and he made a return to the Scotland set-up under Alex McLeish, although chances since have been limited due to injury and loss of form. Prior to last year's qualifier against the Netherlands he admitted he felt like a "forgotten man".

He has appeared twice this season for Birmingham but was an unused substitute in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers.

McEveley also returns to the Scotland squad after a considerably lengthy absence. He also last started in the 3-1 win over Lithuania in September 2007 and last appeared for Scotland in George Burley's first match as manager against Croatia. The then Derby player has spent periods on loan at Preston North End and Charlton but made the permanent move to Barnsley this summer.

Levein has restricted his squad additions to just two ahead of his first competitive games as manager. Cardiff City's Kevin McNaughton has been retained despite being ruled out of Friday's opener against Lithuania. He is being given "every chance" to make Tuesday's clash with Liechtenstein at Hampden.

 
 
 

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