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Bridcutt's call-up pleases Albion boss
ALBION boss Gus Poyet has welcomed Liam Bridcutt’s Scotland call-up and dismissed concerns the Seagulls’ promotion push could be derailed by international recognition.
Defensive midfielder Bridcutt has been rewarded for his outstanding consistency with a place in Gordon Strachan’s party for World Cup qualifiers against Wales at Hampden Park on March 22 and in Serbia four days later.
Bridcutt, who qualifies for Scotland through a grandfather from Edinburgh, has been earmarked by Strachan to help cater for the loss of injured captain Scott Brown and Darren Fletcher.
Former Uruguay international Poyet said: “I’m really happy for him. When any player gets his first call from a national team it’s always a special feeling.
“I was lucky to have those feelings and I imagine Liam now will start worrying about how he is going to get there, who he is going to know. It’s a wait and see now for ten to 15 days but I’m very pleased.
“You go to another level when you become an international, so now I am going to try to calm him down, make sure he plays well for us in the next three games and hope he is going to be able to make that international debut.”
Albion keeper Tomasz Kuszczak has been recalled to the Poland squad and centre-half Adam El-Abd is on international duty with Egypt in-between Crystal Palace’s visit to The Amex on Sunday week and the trip to Nottingham Forest on Easter Saturday March 30.
Poyet said: “I liked it as a player and I’m not going to change now. The more internationals we have in the team the better team you’ve got, I’ve got no doubt about that. Sometimes you can buy a player who is already an international or sometimes you need to help him to get in there.
“We tried to help Liam a lot but the most important part is that he’s done the job on the pitch.”
Bridcutt was watched by Strachan and his assistant, ex-Albion manager Mark McGhee, at Blackburn recently.
Strachan said: “I’ve seen a lot of his games and at the time I didn’t realise he could possibly play for Scotland. But what I did see was a guy who was great on the ball, will accept it in any situation and when he gave a pass to anybody it was a pass the player could then go on and make good use of.
“If you want to counter-attack it’s necessary to have players like that, who can break up moves and start them at the same time.
“Mark McGhee has seen a lot of Liam and he did his homework, so we put that all together and came to the conclusion he’s good enough, especially at a time when in central midfield we are losing Scott and Darren. So there is a hole there and we feel Liam can help to fill that hole.”