Scotland v Georgia: Bannan takes heart from Hutton

Scotland and Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan. Picture: SNS
Scotland and Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan. Picture: SNS
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BARRY Bannan insists he can copy Alan Hutton and cling on to his Scotland spot even though he has been left out in the cold by his club.

The Crystal Palace midfielder has played just three times for the Eagles this season and only once - in a Capital One Cup defeat to Newcastle - since new boss Neil Warnock took over at Selhurst Park last month.

But Gordon Strachan has kept faith with the 24-year-old, naming him in the starting line-up for last month’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier with Germany and then recalling him to his squad for the upcoming double-header with Georgia and Poland.

Bannan, though, is not worried that his lack of game time will eventually cost him and pointed to former Aston Villa team-mate Hutton as a shining example.

The former Rangers full-back did not play a single game for his club last year as Villa boss Paul Lambert snubbed him completely, yet still made eight appearances for Scotland.

Bannan - speaking at the Dark Blues’ Mar Hall base ahead of Saturday’s Ibrox clash with the Georgians - said: “You’ve got to look at guys like Alan Hutton; in the past he wasn’t playing for his club and was coming away and playing really well [for Scotland].

“The only thing I can do, when I come here, is do my all in training to get into the team.

“I keep myself fit. It’s a shame I’m not playing but hopefully playing well here will impress the gaffer and I’ll get the chance.

“I think [Neil Warnock] had just got the job the week I was coming away for the game against Germany.

“You obviously think if you’re playing against Germany and doing well then you’ll have a chance when you go back.

“But Palace were doing well at the time and it’s just a case of waiting for your chance and taking it when you get in there.”

After Georgia visit Glasgow, the Scots will then turn their attentions to taking on Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday.

Strachan’s men will be desperate to kick-start their Group D campaign with two wins having suffered defeat to world champions Germany in last month’s opener but Bannan is not looking any further than the weekend clash with Temuri Ketsbaia’s side.

He said: “We are just looking forward to the game on Saturday. We will not get carried away with the games coming after Saturday.

“We will only focus on Georgia and hopefully we can get the win there.”

With Hampden still to be put back together after hosting the Commonwealth Games athletics sessions this summer, Saturday’s match will be staged at Ibrox.

The Dark Blues last called the Rangers’ stadium home in November 1996 when they beat Sweden 1-0 with a John McGinlay goal.

And Bannan would take a similar result this time, saying: “I’ve never played at Ibrox myself so it will be something different for me and a lot of the lads. But no matter where you play, the Scotland fans are always the same and provide a great atmosphere.”