Sunderland’s Fletcher back in Scottish squad

Steven Fletcher.
Steven Fletcher.
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GUS POYET gave Steven Fletcher a glowing reference before the striker was recalled to the international fold, Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has revealed.

Sunderland striker Fletcher was yesterday named in the Scotland squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany on September 7.

Fletcher has been subdued in Sunderland’s opening two games after returning from the ankle injury which had kept him sidelined for the final two months of last season.

But Sunderland boss Poyet was impressed by the 27-year-old’s sharpness during the Black Cats’ pre-season programme and had no hesitation in recommending an international recall when he spoke with Strachan.

“I spoke to Steven’s manager and he said he’s been terrific in pre-season,” said Strachan.

Ex-Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon was also included in Strachan’s 26-man squad after last representing his country in November, 2010.

After being released by Sunderland in the summer of 2012, the £9million stopper endured two years of injury misery before signing for Celtic at the start of this season.

Gordon has since made two appearances for the SPL champions and Strachan is delighted to be able to call on the 31-year-old.

Strachan said: “It says a lot about his mentality (that he has returned from injury).

“To help with his comeback, it’s nice to have him in the squad.

“I have met him briefly a couple of years ago so it will be nice to get to know him.

“Let’s get him in the fold and see how he feels, see if he likes working with us. So that’s another boost to the squad. That’s a strong area we have got there.”

Scotland squad to play Germany in a European Championship qualifier on September 7: Gordon (Celtic), Marshall (Cardiff), A McGregor (Hull); Berra (Ipswich), Forsyth (Derby), Greer (Brighton), Hanley (Blackburn), Hutton (Aston Villa), Martin (Norwich), Robertson (Hull), Whittaker (Norwich); Anya (Watford), Bannan (Crystal Palace), Bryson (Derby), Burke (Nottingham Forest), Dorrans (West Brom), D Fletcher (Man Utd), Maloney, McArthur (both Wigan), McDonald (Wolves), C McGregor (Celtic), Morrison (West Brom), Mulgrew (Celtic), S Fletcher (Sunderland), Martin (Derby), Naismith (Everton).