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Gordon Strachan explains his Scotland squad decisions

The boss handed out two new call ups but left out Aberdeen's in-form players.

Gordon Strachan named an experienced Scotland squad for the Canada and Slovenia double header later this month but many names have since had the fans talking.

Tom Cairney and Ryan Fraser were both handed their first call ups to the senior side while Stuart Armstrong could also be in line to make his debut having been included for the first time since 2015.

He wasn't the only face making a return either. Jordan Rhodes is back in the international set up after two years out along with Allan McGregor who's been picking up regular football on a loan spell at Cardiff City.

Matt Phillips is also back after missing the four opening 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Despite making eight changes to the squad he named for the England match last November, there's still no room for the likes of Aberdeen's Ryan Jack, Kenny McLean and Graeme Shinnie.

Strachan explained the reasoning behind his decisions when he faced the media on Monday morning.

Armstrong, Cairney and Fraser could debut

Stuart Armstrong has never represented Scotland at senior level.
Stuart Armstrong has never represented Scotland at senior level. SNS

"They'll bring their quality and enthusiasm," Strachan said. "They deserve it. Over the last four months I've watched a lot of football and Tom and Stuart , in particular, have played very well. And Ryan.

"It's just right for these guys to come in just now because they deserve it.

"Up until about four or five months ago both of them played wider in their career and I always thought both of them would be better central. They both moved to central and similar positions and done very well.

"I've seen both players over the weekend. Stuart scored his goal yesterday and had five shots on target. Tom Cairney was the best man on the pitch at St James' Park, that's no surprise, he's been the best man on the pitch on many occasions when I've seen him this year.

"Ryan is doing very well at Bournemouth, keeping out some high value players with his ability and work rate."

Jordan Rhodes returns to the squad

Jordan Rhodes has only scored three goals for Scotland.
Jordan Rhodes has only scored three goals for Scotland. SNS

Strachan continued: "Jordan is playing. He scored a couple of goals the other week there. One was a great cross from Barry Bannan.

"There's an opportunity for Jordan to be in the squad at the moment. If you look at our strikers quite a few of them are not really playing regularly.

"Jordan has played the last five or six games and looked comfortable in his new surroundings at Sheffield Wednesday."

Aberdeen players miss out

Ryan Jack (left) and Kenny McLean have been overlooked.
Ryan Jack (left) and Kenny McLean have been overlooked. SNS

"They're very unfortunate, two of their good players, Ryan Jack and Kenny [McLean]," Strachan added.

"But if you look at central midfield I think it's really strong. You can be unlucky at times, that's for sure.

"I saw Kenny play a tremendous game recently against Motherwell but you can be right unlucky at times.

"That can be unfortunate for a footballer but they must be pleased with how they've been playing."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1382733-tom-cairney-and-ryan-fraser-called-up-to-scotland-squad/ | default

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