Sunderland midfielder ready to battle for starting spot for club and country

Sunderland midfielder Dylan McGeouch
Sunderland midfielder Dylan McGeouch
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Dylan McGeouch is hoping to kick-start his Scotland career by establishing himself in Sunderland's starting XI.

McGeouch was not named in Alex McLeish's Scotland squad to face Belgium and Albania over the international break after picking up an injury in pre-season.

With Max Power suspended, however, McGeouch looks certian to make his first league start for the Black Cats against Fleetwood Town on Saturday and he hopes that McLeish will be watching over the coming weeks.

“I’m disappointed [to not make the Scotland squad], McGeouch told The Herald.

“Everyone wants to be picked [especially] considering I’ve had a wee taste of it and want to keep going.

“I obviously accept the decision and I can understand it a wee bit having a little niggle and not being playing week in, week out. I think, for me, it’s just about concentrating on Sunderland and getting back to playing. Pre-season was good [but then] I picked up the wee niggle and hopefully I can put that behind me and get games week in, week out.

“Obviously the manager has done it with Charlie Mulgrew last year playing in League One [at Blackburn Rovers] and doing well. I don’t think it makes you any less of a player. We think we’re a big club and look to try and get promoted this year.

“But the way we’re playing, hopefully I can get myself back in the team, playing week in, week out and hopefully catch his eye like I did last year and you never know.

“It’s a massive club, you see the stadium and it’s a great place to come and play. I’m just concentrating on playing well for Sunderland, week in, week out, and if that opportunity comes up again, I’d love it.”

McGeouch made his first competitive start for the Black Cats on Tuesday night in the Checkatrade Trophy.