Six new faces in Scotland squad to face Costa Rica and Hungary

Clockwise from top left: Jon McLaughlin, Barry Douglas, Scott McKenna, Oli McBurnie, Dylan McGeouch and Scott McTominay have been called up. Pictures: SNS/Getty Images
Clockwise from top left: Jon McLaughlin, Barry Douglas, Scott McKenna, Oli McBurnie, Dylan McGeouch and Scott McTominay have been called up. Pictures: SNS/Getty Images
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Alex McLeish has named nine uncapped players in his 27-man squad for the friendly matches against Costa Rica and Hungary.

Hibs midfielder Dylan McGeouch has been rewarded for a string of impressive performances for Neil Lennon’s side with a spot in the squad alongside Easter Road team-mate John McGinn, while there are maiden call-ups for Hearts ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin, Wolves defender Barry Douglas, and Manchester United’s Scott McTominay. Scott McKenna and Oli McBurnie step up from the Under-21s having performed well for Aberdeen and Barnsley.

McLaughlin is the only Hearts player in the squad. Christophe Berra was rumoured to be missing out, but it was expected that John Souttar and possibly Steven Naismith would also be included in the squad.

There is also no room for Hibs captain Paul Hanlon, who was included in the squad for November’s friendly match against the Netherlands.

Rangers loan trio Jason Cummings, Russell Martin and Jamie Murphy make the cut while there is also a recall for Grant Hanley.

Cardiff City’s Callum Paterson is named among the defenders but the former Hearts star has been excelling for Neil Warnock’s side in midfield rather than the backline.

Scott McTominay is included among the midfielders alongside Kenny McLean and Callum McGregor, while Ryan Christie and Matt Phillips join Cummings and McBurnie in the forwards.

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McBurnie, who has notched five goals in seven games at Oakwell, has been a regular for Scot Gemmill’s Under-21 side and has hit five goals in seven appearances for Barnsley while on loan from Swansea City.

Barry Douglas has impressed at left back for Wolves this season, and has scored four goals in 20 appearances for the Molineux side.

The former Dundee United defender has never been capped by Scotland, but joins Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson as the third left sided full back in the squad.

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A number of players missed out through injury, including Craig Gordon, James Morrison, Barry Bannan and Steven Fletcher, but others have failed to make the pool, including Robert Snodgrass and Darren Fletcher.

McLeish said: “It is a fresh start. There’s a couple of the experienced players not in the squad but I know what they can do. I want to have a look at some other players.

“It’s a couple of friendly games, it doesn’t mean we will play friendly, but I certainly want to look at players who have been doing well for their clubs.

“We want them to play the way they have been playing for their clubs and try and challenge themselves to become even better.”

McLeish confirmed McGeouch made a “late run” into the squad after watching the former Celtic player shine in Hibs’ victory over Hearts on Friday.

“The next step is the guys prove it,” he added. “They have to now show they can live with other international teams, improve their game and see if they can raise the bar to the highest level they can possibly go.”

Goalkeepers (* = uncapped)

Jordan Archer* (Millwall), Allan McGregor (Hull City), Jon McLaughlin* (Hearts)

Defenders (* = uncapped)

Barry Douglas* (Wolves), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Russell Martin (Rangers), Scott McKenna* (Aberdeen), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers), Callum Paterson (Cardiff City), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Celtic)

Midfielders (* = uncapped)

Stuart Armstrong (Celtic), Tom Cairney (Fulham), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Aberdeen), Kevin McDonald* (Fulham), Dylan McGeouch* (Hibs), John McGinn (Hibs), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Kenny McLean (Aberdeen), Scott McTominay* (Manchester United), Jamie Murphy* (Rangers, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United)

Forwards (* = uncapped)

Ryan Christie (Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic), Jason Cummings (Rangers, on loan from Nottingham Forest), Oli McBurnie* (Barnsley, on loan from Swansea City), Matt Phillips (West Brom)