Levein 'misconstrued' - claim

Houston defends Scotland boss in comments over Wallace

Peter Houston: Claimed Craig Levein had been misrepresented

Scotland assistant manager Peter Houston claimed Craig Levein had been misrepresented over his comments on Lee Wallace last week.

Houston made the claim as he explained why the defender's Rangers team-mate Ian Black had been called up to face Australia.

It comes after Levein last week left Wallace out of the squad for the Easter Road friendly on Wednesday, revealing the left-back's decision to sign up for Rangers in the Irn-Bru Third Division had made it more difficult for him.

But Black was called up on Sunday night along with Leeds striker Ross McCormack, while Blackburn forward David Goodwillie was drafted in on Monday morning.

Levein said last week: "It is very difficult for anyone playing in the Third Division in Scotland to be up to the speed of an international match. No way am I closing the door at all, I just think it is more difficult for Lee to get in now than it was previously."

When asked about Levein's comments, Houston responded: "He said the door was always open for Lee Wallace to get in the squad. He wants to have a look at Danny Fox as well.

Part

"Lee Wallace is very much part of Craig Levein's plans, trust me, I know that personally. And Ian Black is a player for a position that we're a wee bit short of for this particular game.

"Ian Black had a tremendous season last year and he's a quality football player. He has merited the call-up.

"The door is open to any player, whatever division they are in. And if they are playing well, it means Craig has got a decision to make.

"I think it's been misconstrued, what he said last week with regards to Lee Wallace."

Black did not have a proper pre-season after undergoing hernia surgery following his departure from Hearts but he started for Rangers during their 2-2 draw at Peterhead on Saturday.

"After the withdrawals, we spoke about what was available and the best player available to come into the Scotland squad was Ian Black," Houston said.

"He almost got picked once or twice last season."

Struggled

Goodwillie has struggled to make an impact since leaving Dundee United for Rovers a year ago but he comes in after four weekend withdrawals.

"We know David's a talented player and we have brought him up as cover," Houston said.

"Ross McCormack has been doing well and Ian Black has started the season well at Rangers."

Celtic winger James Forrest (groin), QPR forward Darren Mackie (calf) and Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley (ankle) dropped out through injury while West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans pulled out to be with his ill baby daughter in hospital.

Levein was already missing Scott Brown through a hip problem while captain Darren Fletcher has joined up with the squad but is not ready to play as he fights his ongoing illness.