McQueen has misgivings on selection

PA Sport
Craig Levein
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Craig Levein

Gordon McQueen strongly believes the Scotland national team should be the sole preserve of the Scottish - but does not blame Craig Levein for taking advantage of increasingly lax qualification rules.

The Scotland boss has raised eyebrows in some quarters for his propensity to source England-born players who qualify through residency or grandparent rules.

"A lot of the squad are English, which I don't like," said McQueen, at Hampden to publicise the launch of the search for this year's Scottish Football Hall of Fame inductees.

The most recent example of Levein thinning the tartan bloodline is Buckinghamshire-born Blackpool winger Matt Phillips, who was called up for the recent friendly in Slovenia only to pull out with an injury.

The former England Under-20 player would have joined players such as Matt Gilks, James Morrison, Jamie Mackie, Craig Mackail-Smith and Russell Martin, all of whom were born south of the border.

Phillips qualifies through his Scots-born grandparents which goes against the grain for former Leeds and Manchester United defender McQueen, a proud Scot who won 30 caps between 1974 and 1981.

However, while not enamoured with the make-up of the current Scotland squad, McQueen backs Levein in doing what he can to get Scotland qualifying for major tournaments again.

"I don't blame Craig Levein one little bit because he has a job to do and he has to put the best Scotland team out to qualify for tournaments and if he has to do that by getting players who aren't Scottish then so be it.

"Craig Levein has to use every trick to get results for Scotland and every other nation is doing it.

"I'm a traditionalist and a bit headstrong with things like that. I wouldn't do it but that's not to say that is the right thing. But I think when you sign your first professional contract it should say who you want to play for, Scotland, (Northern) Ireland, Wales, or England."

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