SCOTLAND boss Craig Levein hopes Craig Gordon will provide a welcome selection dilemma after handing the Sunderland stopper an international return.
Gordon, pictured, has played just three reserve games for the Black Cats since returning from injury after a year on the sidelines with a knee problem.
The 29-year-old is yet to feature even on the bench for Sunderland this season, with doubts continuing over his future at the Stadium of Light as he enters the final four months of his contract.
But Gordon is in contention to make his first Scotland appearance since November 2010 against Slovenia next week after being named alongside Sunderland team-mate Phil Bardsley in Levein’s squad.
Levein believes Gordon and Rangers keeper Allan McGregor can spur each other on in the race for the number one spot and is confident the Sunderland man can return to form despite such a long absence.
“He’s an important player for us,” said Levein. “He’s had a terrible time with injury but he’s back playing reserve matches and it’s a good time to get him involved.
“At this moment in time Allan McGregor is my number one choice and that’s partly because Craig has been out so long.
“For me there is nothing between the two of them. I hope Craig can get back to the level he was at and then I have a difficult, but tremendous, decision to make as a manager when picking between players of such quality.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan has been included in the Wales squad for next week’s Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica.
The 29-year-old has been sidelined for the past three weeks but is nearing a return to full fitness and may be in contention for Sunderland’s trip to West Brom on Saturday.