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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Russell earns Scotland call-up

ESPN staff

Dundee United forward Johnny Russell has earned his first call-up to the Scotland squad for their international friendly against the USA on May 26.

Wigan's Shaun Maloney has also earned a recall to the squad, with the midfielder in impressive form toward the end of the Premier League season, grabbing the only goal of the game in a vital home win against Manchester United.

Maloney's last cap was against the Faroe Islands in November 2010, and Scotland boss Craig Levein said: "Shaun Maloney is on fire just now. It is no coincidence that the upturn in the fortunes of Wigan coincide with him coming back in the team.

"Shaun, James McArthur and Gary Caldwell, in the Wigan games I've seen recently, have almost always been their best players.

"Those three are bang on form and showing great fighting qualities and we will need that in the United States.''

Levein said Russell is unlikely to feature in the match in Jacksonville but deserves to be involved with the senior squad after impressing with Billy Stark's men.

He said: "If you have a look back through the squads since I took over, I have made a conscious effort to try to include players who are doing well, or have done well, with the Under 21s squad.

"I felt with the season that Johnny has had that he deserves the opportunity this time around. It is more for his experience than anything else. It would be unlikely that he would play a part in the match.''

Scotland squad

Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Scott Brown (Celtic), Craig Bryson (Derby), Gary Caldwell (Wigan), Don Cowie (Cardiff), Matt Gilks (Blackpool), David Goodwillie (Blackburn), Craig Gordon (Sunderland), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton), Shaun Maloney (Wigan), Russell Martin (Norwich), James McArthur (Wigan), Allan McGregor (Rangers), Kenny Miller (Cardiff), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Matt Phillips (Blackpool), Johnny Russell (Dundee Utd), Lee Wallace (Rangers), Andy Webster (Hearts), Steven Whittaker (Rangers).




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