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Heading for England’s top flight, but Craig Bryson is ignored by Scotland

Burton Albion's Tom Naylor (left) challenges Cardiff City's Craig Bryson (PA)
Burton Albion's Tom Naylor (left) challenges Cardiff City's Craig Bryson (PA)

CRAIG Bryson is on the verge of helping Cardiff City win promotion to the English Premier League after some fine displays for Neil Warnock’s team.

But he still doesn’t think his current form will be good enough to get him selected for the Scotland squad.

The 31-year-old industrious midfielder has enjoyed a fine career at Clyde, Kilmarnock and Derby County.

He has been earning rave reviews with the Welsh club since moving there on a season-long loan last summer, but he is still being overlooked by his country.

That may change, of course, when Alex McLeish names his squad for the end-of-season tour games in Peru and Mexico.

Bryson, though isn’t so sure.

He told The Sunday Post: “I’ve very rarely been involved with the Scotland set-up, and that goes right back to when I was eligible for the Under-19s and the Under-21s.

“I’ve got three caps for the full squad and I’m very proud of that.

“I only wish I had more.

“But I’ve long stopped looking at the Scotland squads to see if I’m involved.

“It doesn’t really enter into my thinking now. I just concentrate on my club football.

“The last squad that was picked for the games against Costa Rica and Hungary had several younger players, so maybe that is the route the new manager is going down.

“However, I’d love to play for my country again. I just don’t expect it to happen.”

Bryson has plenty to keep him occupied in the meantime.

Cardiff are still in the promotion hunt despite Friday’s night’s setback when they lost 1-0 to league leaders, Wolves.

Several pundits in England and Wales said it was Bryson’s best game for City.

Next up for The Bluebirds is a big fixture against Aston Villa on Tuesday night as the promotion race for the Premiership reaches boiling point with just six games to go.

Bryson said: “I’m still struggling to get over that defeat to Wolves.

“We missed two penalties in the last two or three minutes. It was incredible.

“That was our first defeat since the opening day of 2018.

“We’ve been consistent, apart from a wee slip around the festive period when we lost four games.

“Everyone thought we’d slide down the table but we knew, inside this club, that we’d be fine and we’d bounce back.

“We remain in a decent position and it’s in our hands. We’ll see what we can do.

“We are determined to win promotion. It would be the highlight of my career, for sure.

“The squad is good and we all get on really well. There is a great togetherness and camaraderie.

“Much of that is also down to the manager. Neil Warnock is the best man-manager I’ve played for.

“He backs his players and trusts his players. He treats you like and adult.

“But he also demands every bit of you on a Saturday and that’s the way it should be.

“He makes his instructions simple and there are no grey areas. We all know what he expects from us. He knows the game inside out.

“At this stage of my career, he has been excellent for me.

“I’ve enjoyed my football and enjoyed playing in front of the Cardiff supporters.

“They have given the team really decent backing and we are grateful.

“We all just want to get over the line but there is so much hard work ahead. We are just taking it game by game.”

Bryson will return to Derby in the summer. He has one year left on his contract and will thrash out his future in the coming weeks, once everything has been settled on the promotion front.

He said: “As I’m on loan, I don’t know what the future holds. It’s all up in the air just now.

“It will be clearer once we know if Cardiff are up and if Derby are up.

“There will be conversations to be had and everybody will put their plans on the table. I’m not concerned about the situation, this is normal. We’ll sort it out in good time.

“My focus is on helping Cardiff and I’m desperate for this season to end in the best possible way. I think we deserve to go up.

“This is a tough league and, with there being 46 games, it is absolutely relentless.

“ We also live a wee bit out of the way, so there is further for us to travel for most away games.

“It’s like being with Inverness or Ross County up in Scotland!

“I just hope we are rewarded for all the hard work and effort when it comes to the nitty gritty. I want this and so does everyone at the football club.”