McFadden eyes Scotland return

PA Sport
James McFadden has not featured for Scotland since 2010
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James McFadden has not featured for Scotland since 2010

James McFadden has targeted a return to Scotland duty for the start of the World Cup qualifiers - once he finds himself a club.

The 29-year-old forward, freed by Everton at the end of last season, has been out of Craig Levein's plans since being substituted at half-time in a 2012 European Championship qualifier against Liechtenstein on September 7, 2010 after being described as lazy by the national team manager whom he has not spoken to since.

After suffering cruciate ligament damage to his left knee while training with Birmingham just over a week later, McFadden was sidelined for 13 months.

He returned to full fitness last season during his second spell at Goodison and has been training recently with another of his former clubs, Motherwell.

Scotland open their World Cup campaign with a home double-header against Serbia and Macedonia in September and McFadden, who will play for Well in Stevie Hammell's testimonial game against Everton at Fir Park on Saturday, insists he still has plenty to offer and hopes a new club will give him the opportunity to show Levein he is worthy of adding to his 48 caps.

"I haven't spoken to him (Levein) since the Liechtenstein game," he said. "But I'm not a wee kid who needs reassurance or told that I am great or whatever.

"The manager makes the decisions, does things his way and I have to abide by that. But I am still young enough and if I can get back playing to the level I am capable of, then the next thing is to try to get back into the Scotland team.

"It is a big incentive to play for your country as it is, there is nothing better. But the fact there is a World Cup campaign coming up, I want to be involved in it and play as many games as I can.

"I have missed a lot of football over the last two years through injury and the Scotland ones have probably been the hardest to take. It's been really hard. I watched every game but it's not easy watching games when you are injured and you want to help.

"So hopefully I can get fit, get back playing to the level I can and get back in the squad."

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