Mackail-Smith's chance to impress new Scotland boss

Craig Mackail-Smith can revive his Scotland career tonight

Craig Mackail-Smith can revive his Scotland career tonight

First published in Albion by , Chief sports reporter

ALBION marksman Craig Mackail-Smith gets the chance to revive his Scotland career tonight – by impressing Gordon Strachan.

New Scotland chief Strachan and his assistant, former Seagulls boss Mark McGhee, will be at Ewood Park for the clash against Blackburn Rovers.

Their attendance also gives Liam Bridcutt and captain Gordon Greer an opportunity to press their international claims.

Mackail-Smith missed out towards the end of the reign of previous Scotland manager Craig Levein as Rovers’ top scorer Jordan Rhodes came to the fore.

Strachan can compare notes on the centre forward rivals as he prepares for his first match in charge against Estonia in a friendly next month.

It also means Bridcutt, who qualifies for Scotland through a grandparent, gets another chance to catch the eye.

The defensive midfielder, outstanding for Albion again this season, shone in the FA Cup victory against Newcastle at The Amex, watched by Strachan in his previous role as an ITV pundit.

McGhee was keeping tabs on Greer as well during a spell scouting for Scotland, so the 32-year-old centre half’s return to Rovers, where he started his career in England, could boost his international prospects if he helps keep Rhodes quiet.

Victory against beleaguered Blackburn in the rearranged fixture, washed out in December, will move Albion to within two points and a place of the Championship play-offs and extend their unbeaten run in 2013 to five games ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup visit on Saturday.

The Seagulls were still waiting last night for new signing Leonardo Ulloa’s international clearance, which delayed the Argentinian target man’s debut at Birmingham on Saturday.

Comments (7)

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10:16am Tue 22 Jan 13

WestStander17 says...

I would think Bridcutt could comfortably play for Scotland straight away. Interesting decision for him at this stage of his career though. Too early rule out England??
I would think Bridcutt could comfortably play for Scotland straight away. Interesting decision for him at this stage of his career though. Too early rule out England?? WestStander17
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10:20am Tue 22 Jan 13

Dr Baldhead says...

Can't believe the Scots haven't taken Bridcutt yet. Ironic if England pip them to him.

As for CMS, he'll need to regain some form if he wants a recall - he's been off colour for a while now.
Can't believe the Scots haven't taken Bridcutt yet. Ironic if England pip them to him. As for CMS, he'll need to regain some form if he wants a recall - he's been off colour for a while now. Dr Baldhead
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Tue 22 Jan 13

mikeygit says...

Also cannot believe Ulloa still has not got his clearance papers!!
Also cannot believe Ulloa still has not got his clearance papers!! mikeygit
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Albion23 says...

Are we still waiting for papers? Or is Gus keeping shtum for the while. It might give Rovers a chance to change things around otherwise. ( maybe im being too sceptical). U.T A.
Are we still waiting for papers? Or is Gus keeping shtum for the while. It might give Rovers a chance to change things around otherwise. ( maybe im being too sceptical). U.T A. Albion23
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3:17pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Gee Jay says...

I agree Albion23, I think Gus could be keeping the opposition guessing with 'Len' until the last minute.
Chance for CMS to grab the headlines tonight, the way he runs, he with stay warmer than the other 21 on the pitch..
I agree Albion23, I think Gus could be keeping the opposition guessing with 'Len' until the last minute. Chance for CMS to grab the headlines tonight, the way he runs, he with stay warmer than the other 21 on the pitch.. Gee Jay
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5:29pm Tue 22 Jan 13

VegasSeagull says...

I am not convinced that the Scot's manager will get to see too much of CMS tonight, I think he might be on the bench.

That said, if Ulloa starts then I am sure CMS will, without Ulloa maybe Hoskins gets his chance.Barnes for me is nailed on to start.

I wonder if the scots manager called Poyet to find out before deciding to come to the match.
I think he will like Bridcutt so his trip might not be wasted.
I am not convinced that the Scot's manager will get to see too much of CMS tonight, I think he might be on the bench. That said, if Ulloa starts then I am sure CMS will, without Ulloa maybe Hoskins gets his chance.Barnes for me is nailed on to start. I wonder if the scots manager called Poyet to find out before deciding to come to the match. I think he will like Bridcutt so his trip might not be wasted. VegasSeagull
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Tue 22 Jan 13

wiseman of hove says...

VegasSeagull wrote:
I am not convinced that the Scot's manager will get to see too much of CMS tonight, I think he might be on the bench.

That said, if Ulloa starts then I am sure CMS will, without Ulloa maybe Hoskins gets his chance.Barnes for me is nailed on to start.

I wonder if the scots manager called Poyet to find out before deciding to come to the match.
I think he will like Bridcutt so his trip might not be wasted.
I think, Vegas, it is generally accepted that CMS has not been at his best lately. I doubt that Strachan would be too concerned about making a special trip to just see him. In my view, he is there specifically to see Jordan Rhodes who is well ahead of CMS in the Scotland setup - and to definately run the rule again over Liam. Mark McGhee, Strachans new assistant, knows all about Liam and it will be astonishing if he is not in the next Scotland squad in view of the paucity of their resources. If CMS plays tonight, it does give him an opportunity for the head to head situation with Jordan Rhodes - he needs a performance because Strachan would have been unimpressed with CMS against Newcastle. In my stuck record mode, I really want to see Hosko heavily involved tonight! Surely it will happen?
[quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: I am not convinced that the Scot's manager will get to see too much of CMS tonight, I think he might be on the bench. That said, if Ulloa starts then I am sure CMS will, without Ulloa maybe Hoskins gets his chance.Barnes for me is nailed on to start. I wonder if the scots manager called Poyet to find out before deciding to come to the match. I think he will like Bridcutt so his trip might not be wasted.[/p][/quote]I think, Vegas, it is generally accepted that CMS has not been at his best lately. I doubt that Strachan would be too concerned about making a special trip to just see him. In my view, he is there specifically to see Jordan Rhodes who is well ahead of CMS in the Scotland setup - and to definately run the rule again over Liam. Mark McGhee, Strachans new assistant, knows all about Liam and it will be astonishing if he is not in the next Scotland squad in view of the paucity of their resources. If CMS plays tonight, it does give him an opportunity for the head to head situation with Jordan Rhodes - he needs a performance because Strachan would have been unimpressed with CMS against Newcastle. In my stuck record mode, I really want to see Hosko heavily involved tonight! Surely it will happen? wiseman of hove
  • Score: 0

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