Duo surprised by Scots hope

Ferguson and McGregor would consider international return

Ferguson: Could return for Scotland

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Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor have expressed surprise upon learning their international careers with Scotland could be revived.

The pair were banned from representing their country earlier this year as a result of the 'Boozegate' incident after a World Cup qualifier against Holland.

However, following the sacking of George Burley as coach, Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith has confirmed it will be up to the new national team boss to decide whether to recall Ferguson and McGregor.

Ferguson, who joined Birmingham City from Rangers in the summer, was not expecting Smith's announcement and is not ruling out a return to the international fold.

Deep regret

"To be honest the situation that arose yesterday from the comments made by the chief executive have taken me by surprise," Ferguson told The Herald.

"Firstly, I would like to clarify that I have never once said I would never play for my country again, as some people seem to have claimed.

"I made my feelings known in August about the way the whole situation was handled - and at the time admitted my deep regret for what had happened.

"I have no desire to go over old ground, I have moved on with my life. That was it as far as I was concerned.

"Clearly, there would be a lot for me to think about should the situation arise. That is, of course, if a call is made from the new manager. So I'll get on with things until I hear anything different."

Complete surprise

The midfielder's former Rangers team-mate McGregor admits he is keen to play for Scotland again after also being surprised to be given hope of a recall.

McGregor told the Daily Record: "I have to say the news has come as a complete surprise.

"It was something I didn't expect, but I'm delighted to hear that there is a chance for me to return to the international fold.

"Yes, I know I made an error, but I do feel I have paid a very heavy price for it. Being told you will never play for your country again hit me like a sledgehammer at the time.

"Like every Scottish boy, I grew up dreaming of pulling on that shirt and playing in front of the Tartan Army. It broke my heart to think I would never get that chance again.

"This news means there might be a chance for me to return, but I'm not arrogant enough to think I'd just walk straight back in. It will all depend on the next manager."