JOHN SOUTTAR is a man in demand with the Hearts stopper set to be named in two Scotland squads over the next 48 hours.
New national head coach Alex McLeish will demonstrate his determination to look to the future by calling up the 21-year-old tomorrow for the games against Costa Rica and Hungary.
However with his Aberdeen peer Scott McKenna likewise poised to get the shout, Under-21s boss Scot Gemmill has been told he can include Souttar in his squad for the European championship qualifier away to Andorra.
That tie is on Friday, March 23, the same night as the Costa Rica friendly.
Things are simpler in the case of Souttar’s Tynecastle team-mate Jon McLaughlin, with the 30-year-old set to go straight into the senior squad.
In the absence of injured Celtic No.1 Craig Gordon, he will provide Hull City’s Allan McGregor with competition for a starting place.
Steven Naismith, on loan at Hearts from Norwich City, should retain his place but the Edinburgh club’s skipper Christophe Berra is expected to miss out with a troublesome ankle injury.
Speaking after Friday night’s defeat to Hibs, the defender revealed he has been having to take painkilling injections to play.
“I’ll probably get a scan at the start of the week and see how it is,” he said.
“I did it four or five weeks ago on the astroturf.
“Then two days before the Motherwell game I had a bad one.
“The swelling went down and I got an injection and played through that because it was a big game, and the Hibs one was big.
“I don’t think it’s that bad but I’ve got to watch I don’t do too much damage to myself and it’s not good to be taking an injection every week.”
At 33 years old, Berra thinks his time with Scotland may be up at any rate.
“I don’t know if I would be in the squad anyway, that’s down to the manager.
“I don’t know what route he is going to go down, he is probably going to change things.”
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