Monday 18 December 2017

Bhoy Armstrong gets Scottish call

Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong
Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong

Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong has been called into the Scotland squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Georgia and Germany.

The 23-year-old is the only uncapped player in Gordon Strachan's pool.

Derby striker Chris Martin and Hull keeper Allan McGregor are back in the squad while Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths retains his place.

Like McGregor, Blackburn defender Grant Hanley is back after injury while midfielders Barry Bannan and Charlie Adam miss out.

On Armstrong, Strachan said: "I have been impressed for a while because about two years ago he was in a squad. It's not like he has just come on the radar, he has always been on the radar.

"It shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone because he has been doing well at a high level. He looks comfortable at the level he is playing in and he is becoming a major figure in games."

As well as aiming for his international debut, the former Dundee United midfielder is hoping to secure Champions League football when Celtic face Malmo in Sweden on Tuesday night. And Strachan believes Armstrong can thrive further after impressing since moving from Dundee United to Parkhead during the winter transfer window.

He said: "Hopefully the quality of teams they are going to play against in the next few months will be even higher than the teams they are playing against now. It's also just dealing with the big-game mentality, dealing with the pressure, dealing with the crowds. That's something the boys at Celtic have to deal with all the time and Stuart, as far as I can see, is dealing with that well now."

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