Robbie Neilson tips Hearts players for Scotland call-up

Callum Paterson previously received a call-up to the national team. Picture: Greg Macvean
Callum Paterson previously received a call-up to the national team. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Robbie Neilson believes several Hearts players will be in contention for a Scotland call-up for next month’s friendly matches against Czech Republic and Denmark.

National coach Gordon Strachan is set to name a different group for each match and Neilson expects him to look at a few Tynecastle regulars.

Strachan called Callum Paterson into the Scotland senior squad in November 2014 but he is currently sidelined by a shoulder injury. It remains to be seen if he will be fit enough for a recall. Sam Nicholson, Jamie Walker, Jordan McGhee and John Souttar have all played at Scotland Under-21 level and been monitored by Strachan.

Ahead of tonight’s league meeting with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hearts head coach Neilson said: “The target for the players is to win against Inverness and if they do that and win on Saturday then it’s up to Scotland to decide if they want them.

“I think there are players who can be round about the squad. It’s up to Gordon to decide. I’d be delighted if they got into the Scotland squad. It would be great for the club and the players.

“We want to develop young players and get them into the Scotland squad so the more the merrier. The issue we had last season in the Championship was that the league games weren’t stopped [during international breaks] but in the Premiership they can go away and train and it would be great for them.”

Strachan has largely relied on players from England’s Premier League and Championship during his reign as national coach. “If you’re playing well it doesn’t matter what league you’re in,” continued Neilson. “It’s up to Gordon but I can see his thinking. The English Premiership is the top league in the world and the Championship is fantastic.

“Those two leagues are better than the Scottish Premiership but if the players are doing well then they should be looked at. I know Gordon does look because I see him at games all the time.”