McManus set for Scottish role

Celtic defender ready to take on national team captaincy

McManus: Relishing leadership role

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Stephen McManus believes he is ready to lead his country again - should he be given the nod by Scotland manager George Burley.

The Celtic captain has skippered the national team in friendlies against Croatia and the Czech Republic.

And with Barry Ferguson expected to be sidelined until November following ankle surgery, McManus looks set to be handed the captain's armband once more for Wednesday's friendly against Northern Ireland at Hampden Park.

The 25-year-old defender could then retain the captaincy for Scotland's opening World Cup qualifiers away to Macedonia and Iceland, but he is not taking anything for granted.

"It's down to the manager to decide who his captain will be, I've not heard anything yet," said McManus.

Tremendous

"If it is me, I'll see how the first one goes. Maybe you don't do so well and you get dropped for the next game so you never know what's around the corner.

"It's a tremendous honour to lead your country out and I've done it twice so far.

"If it happens again for a game or two then great. But the most important thing is the team, not individuals.

"I'm the same all the time on the pitch - nothing changes for me," he added.

"It's another game and it's all about winning matches, that's the most important thing."

Newcomers

McManus will be expected to lend a helping hand to international newcomers Kris Commons and Darren Barr, even though he only has 13 caps himself.

"I wouldn't say I'm one of the senior guys just yet, I've not had 25 or 50 caps and I'm still a long way from that," he said.

"But if I can help the lads coming in, I will certainly do that because it's not easy coming in to a new squad.

"You can feel nervous and the other players have played a lot more games. But guys like Darren are coming in and he certainly deserves to be there."