Scotland Gear Up For 'Must-Win' World Cup Qualifier

5 October 2017, 14:16

Scotland football team

Scott Brown has backed Celtic team-mate Callum McGregor to thrive on the big occasion if he is handed his Scotland debut against Slovakia.

The 24-year-old was called up for only the second time, after both Brown and Stuart Armstrong pulled out through injury.

The likes of Darren Fletcher, James Morrison, Barry Bannan and John McGinn are also pushing for starts in Thursday's World Cup qualifier at Hampden but Brown has no doubts about McGregor's attributes.

"He has shown up on the big occasions for Celtic in the Champions League, semi-finals and cup finals - he has been there and done it, and he will thrive if he gets the chance to play," said Brown, who will travel on the team bus to watch the game at Hampden along with Armstrong.

"Every day I see his work-rate in the gym and what he does away from football. He is an honest boy and he deserves to be the in squad and he will have shown his qualities in training this week. I'm sure the manager already knows what he can do on the pitch, but now he will also get to see what he can do on the training pitch and around the dressing room."

While McGregor is looking for his first cap, Celtic team-mate Craig Gordon is set to win his 50th.

The goalkeeper showed his class with a stunning save from Scotland colleague Steven Whittaker during Celtic's 2-2 draw with Hibernian on Saturday.

Brown told Celtic's website: "At the time, you think 'what a save', but when you see it back, it's incredible, frightening. The way he has got there so quickly shows it's not about his age, it's about how much he wants it and what he does day in, day out in training.

"He is probably as fit as he ever has been and he is 34-years-old.

"It will be a great occasion for him and he deserves it. Had it not been for his injuries then he would have had a lot more caps and played more games for Sunderland, and he was fantastic down there."