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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 28, 2007

McLeish: Door open for 'Elvis' comeback

Scotland manager Alex McLeish insists the door is open for Steven Pressley to return to the national team despite his absence from the squad to face Lithuania and France next month.

The 33-year-old Celtic defender has yet to feature for his club this season, meaning he will play no part in the crucial European Championships qualifying double header.

Scotland face Lithuania at Hampden on September 8, and France in Paris four days later.

McLeish said: 'Steven has not figured with Celtic. I spoke to him last week and we both agreed that getting fully fit and playing with Celtic is his priority at the moment.

'I would obviously still consider players like Steven Pressley, he has fantastic experience and he is a leader. All things being equal, he will be recalled if his club life gets back underway again.'

Pressley's Celtic club-mate Kenny Miller and Sheffield United defender Gary Naysmith were named in the 25-man pool despite both being rated extremely doubtful.

Miller is struggling with a hamstring injury, while Naysmith has twisted medial ligaments in his knee.

'Gary Naysmith is not 100% and neither is Kenny Miller,' admitted McLeish. 'But we would rather pick them now and then withdraw them if they are struggling.'

Jay McEveley and Barry Robson, who both made their international debuts in last week's friendly against South Africa, also retain their places in the squad.

McLeish said: 'They played well. I don't think there are any problems in terms of what the two players can give us.

'You have to see if they can hadle it. They have come into a winning set-up and that makes it a little bit easier. The players in the group pretty much know each other inside out and that also helps.

'It was good that they made a winning start so there were a lot of bonuses from that game.'

Squad

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Sunderland), David Marshall (Norwich City), Allan McGregor (Rangers)

Defenders: Graham Alexander (Preston), Russell Anderson (Sunderland), Gary Caldwell (Celtic), Alan Hutton (Rangers), Jay McEveley (Derby County), Stephen McManus (Celtic), Gary Naysmith (Sheffield United), David Weir (Rangers).

Midfielders: Scott Brown (Celtic), Barry Ferguson (Rangers), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Paul Hartley (Celtic), Lee McCulloch (Rangers), Stephen Pearson (Derby County), Barry Robson (Dundee United), Gary Teale (Derby County).

Forwards: Craig Beattie (West Brom), Kris Boyd (Rangers), James McFadden (Everton), Shaun Maloney (Aston Villa), Kenny Miller (Celtic), Garry O'Connor (Birmingham City).

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