Levein has faith in new boys

Scotland boss prepared to hand out debuts if required

Craig Levein: Finds himself short on experienced defensive options

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Craig Levein insists he would have no concerns about handing senior debuts to any of the international newcomers in his Scotland squad.

Levein's preparations for an opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against Serbia have been seriously hampered by a spate of defensive injuries.

Steven Whittaker, Phil Bardsley, Danny Fox, Charlie Mulgrew and Russell Martin will all be missing at Hampden Park on Saturday.

Christophe Berra was also a major doubt at one stage, until his girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday.

Levein has been forced to draft in the untested Paul Dixon, Richard Foster and Gary MacKenzie as cover, but is confident that all three can do a job if required.

He said: "What I don't like is uncertainty. We had a lot of that in the early part of the week, not just with the Christophe Berra situation with his girlfriend having the baby.

"We had Russell Martin, Charlie Mulgrew and Danny Fox all unsure whether they were going to make it.

Certainty

"What we have got now is certainty and I'm happy.

"Everyone in the squad is more than capable of starting if need be."

Huddersfield defender Dixon would appear to be the most likely to be handed a starting berth, given Levein's shortage of options at left-back.

"I was fortunate enough to work with him at Dundee United," said the Scotland coach.

"He provides us with an attacking threat down that left side.

"I know exactly what his strengths are and I know how to use him. That gives me a degree of comfort."

What will be the outcome in the match Scotland versus Serbia?

  • Scotland
  • Serbia
  • Draw