Burley backs Maloney recall
George Burley says he had no hesitation in drafting Shaun Maloney back into the Scotland squad.
Last Updated: 29/08/08 12:04pm
Scotland boss George Burley says he had no hesitation in drafting Shaun Maloney back into his squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.
Maloney was left out of the party for last Wednesday's friendly against Northern Ireland, but his impressive showing for Celtic against Falkirk last weekend has prompted Burley to bring him back into the fold for the games against Macedonia and Iceland
The 25-year-old only joined Celtic last week from Aston Villa after a disappointing spell at Villa Park and Burley believes Maloney can offer a lot once he gets more games under his belt.
"Shaun is a terrific player, who has great ability," said Burley. "At Aston Villa, it was difficult at end of last season and this season when he wasn't playing.
"I saw him play on Saturday when he played for 70 minutes and I thought he was outstanding. He looked lively and bright.
"I spoke to Shaun and he feels with a couple of games under his belt that he would be back to 100 per cent so I had no hesitation in bringing him back into the squad."
Burley has also recalled Birmingham striker Garry O'Connor after taking advice from his predecessor Alex McLeish.
"I spoke to Alex about him," added Burley.
"He has started the season well and he gives us a different dimension and he is in good goalscoring form so that is why we brought him back in."
Burley admitted the loss of full-back Alan Hutton was a major blow to his plans, but believes he has enough cover to fill in for the Tottenham star.
Hutton is recovering from a stress fracture of his foot and has yet to feature this season for club or country.
"Alan has progressed in the last few years as a top-class international full-back, some people would say one of the best full-backs in Britain," noted Burley.
"So it is very disappointing but we were aware of his injury pre-season. We kept our fingers crossed that he might be available for the start of the campaign.
"Unfortunately, he is not and at this moment in time it is still difficult to know when he is going to be exactly fit but he is certainly going to be missing our first two games.
"Graham [Alexander] is experienced, which is very important in the World Cup.
"He came back in against Northern Ireland, he did very well and we have also got Kevin McNaughton who can play at full-back so we have got other players who know how to do a good job."