Scotland call-up for England clash gives Lee Wallace a boost

Lee Wallace celebrates scoring Rangers' opening goal against Kilmarnock. Picture: SNS.Lee Wallace celebrates scoring Rangers' opening goal against Kilmarnock. Picture: SNS.
Lee Wallace celebrates scoring Rangers' opening goal against Kilmarnock. Picture: SNS.
Rangers captain Lee Wallace'¨believes that Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has given him the confidence to step into the left-back role '¨at Wembley for Scotland's '¨crucial World Cup qualifier.

Wallace was at pains not to be presumptuous over the possibility that next week could bring him a first cap in three years and said “first and foremost” his feeling over the situation that could open the door for his international return was “disappointment” for fellow left-backs in Hull City’s Andrew Robertson and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney. Long-term injuries sustained by the pair in recent weeks will count them out of a game that Scotland need to win to retain realistic prospects of emerging from Group F.

However, Wallace did acknowledge that he would feel upbeat about any chance to revive his Scotland career following Strachan’s comments before last month’s ill-starred double-header against Lithuania and Slovakia in which he stated he had “incredible” left-back options and that the training then of Wallace, Robertson and Tierney made the “three as good as I’ve seen for one position”.

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“That was something he mentioned prior to the first game,” said the five-times capped 29-year-old. “He pulled the three of us aside and told us that. I got a good bit of belief from that. I felt a real sense of positivity from the manager that he could trust me. I’ll wait on the squad being announced first and foremost and take it from there.

“I’ve not been involved in squads for a number of years prior to the last squad. I’m grateful for what I’m doing at this club and I’ll be grateful if I get an opportunity to be selected in the next squad.

“First and foremost [though], there is a feeling of disappointment for the two lads who, in my opinion, were the best two players in the last two games. I learned a lot from them, just from watching them at the age they are at.

“The rise they have made in their own domestic football has been incredible. We obviously knew about Andy, playing against him in the Third Division when he was at Queen’s Park. He went on to Dundee United and Hull. The level of team he is now being linked with comes off the back of his performances and playing at a high level.

“Kieran Tierney burst on to the scene last year and was rightly named player of the year in the league. These guys are going to be the future in that position so, first and foremost, the whole of the country and the whole of Scottish football is feeling for them at the moment. Hopefully they can have a speedy recovery and we’ll see what happens.”