Fletcher backing for Bannan

Scotland skipper impressed by Villa youngster's progress

Bannan: Set to make Scotland debut

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Scotland captain Darren Fletcher is confident Barry Bannan is ready for international football after being impressed by the Aston Villa midfielder.

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Bannan has enjoyed a run in the Villa team this season and caught the eye against Fletcher at the weekend as Villa drew 2-2 with Manchester United.

The midfield duo could line up together in Scotland's friendly with the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, with Bannan expected to win his first cap.

Fletcher has followed the 20-year-old's progress and believes the Villa youngster can take the step up to international level in his stride.

Very talented

"Is Bannan ready for Scotland? Of course he is," said Fletcher. "He is playing for Aston Villa in the Premier League and he is a very talented lad.

"He was impressive against United on Saturday and he is an intelligent footballer.

"If he gets a run of games for Villa, I am sure he will do well for himself.

"Having watched him for the Under 21s and Villa, I think he is going to have a bright future."

Fletcher addded: "I watch a lot of reserve-team matches and I was aware of Barry before now.

"I saw Barry him score a hat-trick against the United reserves this season so I knew what to expect."