Caldwell salutes squad depth
Defender looking for Scotland to end finals absence
Last Updated: August 14, 2012 6:40pm
Gary Caldwell: Confident Scotland can make the 2014 World Cup
Gary Caldwell feels Scotland now boast the kind of strength in depth required to mount a sustained push for qualification to a major international event.
The Scots last graced the final stage of a tournament way back in 1998, with seven competitions having passed them by since then.
They are looking to end that barren run at the 2014 World Cup, with European nations readying themselves to take their first tentative steps on the road to Brazil.
Scotland have been placed in a group which includes Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales and feel they have what it takes to progress.
A 5-1 friendly defeat against the USA has been quickly forgotten and Wigan defender Caldwell believes Craig Levein's side should be looking to make the most of the talent at their disposal.
"Over the last few years we have shown there is a bigger group than the 22 players who can be picked in a squad," he said ahead of a friendly meeting with Australia on Wednesday.
"You just need to look at the squad list and see the amount of players playing in the Premiership in England and the Championship, which is a fantastic league.
"I think the overall quality in the players that are getting picked is better than the groups I have been involved in in the past.
"But it's no good saying that, we have to go out and show that in every game we play.
"The qualifiers are different. We had a good run in friendlies in the last campaign and couldn't quite take that form into qualifiers and hopefully as a group we have learned from that and can use that experience in this campaign."
On Scotland's efforts to reach the 2014 World Cup, which begins with a home date against Serbia on 8th September, Caldwell added: "We have always been in it at the last game, even in the last campaign we still had a chance to qualify.
"We have been close, it's not like we've been a million miles away every campaign.
"We have been too long out of major finals. As a group of players now we have got the strength in depth that we can mount a challenge and qualify.
"It would be great for the country to be back at a major finals."