GORDON STRACHAN says that Robert Snodgrass faces a race against time to prove his fitness after being named in Scotland’s squad for their World Cup qualifying game with England at Wembley a week tomorrow.
The Hull City winger was the surprise name in manager Strachan’s squad, with the 29-year-old having injured ankle ligaments in the Premier League defeat to Stoke City just 12 days ago. He was expected to be out of action for up to a month.
But despite the blow, Snodgrass is working flat out to return to fitness in double-quick time and defy that prognosis.
Strachan admits he is not sure if the Glaswegian will recover in time, with his inclusion in Hull’s plans – or not – in Sunday’s Premier League game with Southampton likely to tip the scales one way or the other as to his possible involvement.
On the inclusion of Snodgrass, who bagged a hat-trick in Scotland’s opening Group H win over Malta, Strachan said: “I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he is desperate to be there.
“He is going to do everything that he can.
“First of all, he has got to get fit for his club and play with them because they need him at the moment, that is for sure. That is his first priority.
“Once that is out of the way, then we will get things together and see how fit he is.
“He wants to be in the squad, so that is why he is in,” added Strachan.
Snodgrass is one of four Yorkshire-based players in the Scotland squad, with club team-mate David Marshall and Sheffield Wednesday duo Barry Bannan and Steven Fletcher also in the party.
Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle has been called up to Republic of Ireland’s provisional squad for their World Cup qualifier against Austria, which takes place in Vienna a week on Saturday. Doyle, 31, has one previous international cap, against Ecuador in 2007. Also included is Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.
Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane, Leeds United midfielder Eunan O’Kane and Hull’s David Meyler are also in the squad.
Huddersfield Town loan goalkeeper Danny Ward is in Wales’ squad for their World Cup qualifier against Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, November 12.