McFadden wants to bring belief back

19 March 2018, 16:27

Football

Coach James McFadden wants players aspiring to be "the man" when they play for Scotland.

Alex McLeish's first squad of his second tenure as boss gathered at a hotel outside Edinburgh on Sunday night ahead of Friday's game against Costa Rica at Hampden Park, before next Tuesday's trip to Hungary for the second-part of the friendly double header.

Swansea striker Oli McBurnie, Wolves full-back Barry Douglas and Hibernian midfielder Dylan McGeouch were among six new faces named initially, along with Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna and Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay.

Celtic defender Jack Hendry was called up for the first time on Sunday when Rangers defender Russell Martin withdrew through injury.

McFadden, 34, who played under McLeish in his first spell as Scotland manager, was named in his backroom staff along with lead coach Peter Grant and goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods.

The former Motherwell, Everton and Birminham City attacker became a favourite of the Tartan Army over the course of his 48 caps and he gave an impassioned plea for players to come to the fore as he looked forward to the challenge matches which are preparation for the inaugural Nations League campaign which begins later in the year.

"We want to go and excite people, win games and get that belief back," he said.

"I want them to come in with the attitude of, 'I want to be the man, I want to achieve something for Scotland'.

"I have sat here as a player talking about believing we could win and I truly did believe.

"I think we need to get back to that, to really believing that we can achieve something special here and I think we can.

"It is chance for the younger guys to be part of something special.

"For so long we have talked our game down. If we could get awards for talking our game we would. We need to start talking it up and bringing that belief that young players can come in and impress and express themselves.

"I was one myself and I didn't listen when people said I couldn't do things.

"Most of them are playing every week and they are playing well and it is a chance for them to force themselves into the team for the Nations League.

"We have watched them at their clubs. It is a step up at international level but a chance for them to be part of something we believe will be really special."

McFadden revealed that McGeouch was still nursing a groin injury and insisted that no chances would be taken, regardless of how desperate the Hibs playmaker was to get his first cap.

He said: "He did a bit with the fitness coach this morning. He is still feeling his groin a bit so we will see how he goes.

"I know he has had problems before so we will manage him and if he is not 100 per cent, he won't be risked.

"Dylan McGeouch deserves to be here so it is not a case of it being his last chance. There will be other chances for him."