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Strachan names Wallace, Burke, McCormack in first Scotland squad

Rangers left-back Lee Wallace has been recalled to the Scotland squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie.

Wallace had not been included since dropping to the Irn-Bru Third Division with the Ibrox side but new Scotland manager Gordon Strachan today named him in his first squad, as Michael Grant revealed in The Herald this morning.

Birmingham winger Chris Burke and Leeds forward Ross McCormack, both former Rangers players, have also been brought back into the national set-up.

Celtic winger James Forrest, who has been missing for several weeks with a hamstring injury, is one of four Parkhead players selected for the Aberdeen clash, which comes six days before their club's Champions League clash against Juventus.

The squad is largely familiar with the likes of Kenny Miller and Alan Hutton included.

Wallace played in the 5-1 friendly defeat to the United States last May but was then overlooked by Craig Levein, who feared he would not be able to adjust to international football while playing in Scotland's bottom tier.

Levein did pick Wallace's Rangers team-mate Ian Black for the friendly win over Australia in August but stressed that was because of a shortage of midfielders.

Strachan revealed the decision to recall the former Hearts left-back came following discussions with his coaching and scouting staff.

"It was a collective thought," he said.

"We had a look at the options in that area and Lee was one of the names. I asked 'who do you think is playing well and deserves a pat on the back?'

"Is he a good player? Yes, he's a good player. He is in the Third Division but can still be a good player.

"Lee's been in the squad many times and played and he's been a good player. I see no reason why he's still not a good player."

Burke has only two Scotland caps, both gained in Scotland's successful Kirin Cup adventure in 2006, when he scored twice in a 5-1 victory over Bulgaria.

Burke, who has been the subject of several bids from Nottingham Forest this month, is part of an extended 28-man squad as Strachan looks to gather as many players as possible.

The Scotland boss said: "I spend a lot of time in the midlands and I've seen a lot of Birmingham with my media work with ITV last year - we did a lot of their Europa League games.

"Chris was fantastic in the Europa League at a good level, he has a maturity about his play now.

"In the international set-up you need to be able to beat people by passing or eliminating people by going past them.

"He can certainly do the second part and is getting better at the first. International defences are so good, you need people like that.

"I spoke to the Arsenal scout who was at the Burnley-Birmingham game and he said he was fantastic."

Squad: Gilks (Blackpool), Marshall (Cardiff), McGregor (Besiktas); Bardsley (Sunderland), Berra (Wolves), Caldwell (Wigan), Hanley (Blackburn), Hutton (Real Mallorca), Martin (Norwich), Mulgrew (Celtic), Wallace (Rangers), Webster (Hearts); Adam (Stoke), Brown (Celtic), Burke (Birmingham), Commons (Celtic), Forrest (Celtic), McArthur (Wigan), Morrison (West Brom), Phillips (Blackpool), Snodgrass (Norwich); Fletcher (Sunderland), McCormack (Leeds), Mackie (QPR), Maloney (Wigan), Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps), Naismith (Everton), Rhodes (Blackburn).

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