hearts news

Laszlo: Wallace can nail down Scotland place

October 1, 2009

Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo has assured Lee Wallace he is at the right club if he wants to force his way into the Scotland set-up.

Lee Wallace
GettyImagesWallace: A glowing reference from his manager.

Left-back Wallace was made to wait yet again for his maiden call-up on Thursday when George Burley named his squad for the friendly in Japan next Saturday. Despite being a regular at Tynecastle and a former Scotland Under-21 international, Wallace has been repeatedly overlooked by Burley, who also handed a first call-up to Celtic's Danny Fox.

The move appears to suggest Wallace has slipped further down the pecking order than ever, but Laszlo insists the 22-year-old can still become his country's first-choice left-back at Hearts.

''If he continues this performance and attitude and his lifestyle inside and outside the club, he can be a permanent member of the Scotland squad,'' Laszlo said. ''He brings a lot of qualities: he is not only young, he has the speed, he has the heading, he has the body, he has a very good cross and a very good shot; he also scores goals from this position.

''Especially as he is young, he can be in this position a long-term solution.''

Asked if Wallace was his country's best left-back, Laszlo added: ''I can't tell you if he is the best but he is one of the best and a most promising player for the future in this position for Scotland.''

Hearts captain Michael Stewart also failed to earn a recall despite an encouraging start to the season and former Uganda boss Laszlo refused to go as far as to say both should have been included, but does believe Burley must try to bring new blood into his team.

He said: ''You must go and give other players the chance to play for the national team in friendly games. If you would like to build a new team, you must also have new faces.''

He added: ''Lee Wallace and Mike Stewart are definitely in good form this season, especially Mike Stewart. He plays at the moment in every game in good form in the midfield and he scores goals. You don't have many players at the moment in the midfield which are dangerous.''