Stark hit by nine withdrawls

Last Updated : 11 Nov 2012 21:17

Caretaker Scotland manager Billy Stark has been hit by nine withdrawals for the friendly in Luxembourg on Wednesday.

Inverness midfielder Andrew Shinnie, Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths and Kilmarnock midfielder Liam Kelly have been called up for the first time after the mass call-offs.

Goalkeeper David Marshall, defender Phil Bardsley, midfielders James Morrison, Shaun Maloney, Charlie Adam, Matt Phillips, Barry Bannan and strikers Steven Fletcher and Jamie Mackie have all pulled out.

St Mirren goalkeeper Craig Samson and Huddersfield left-back Paul Dixon, who have both featured in recent squads, have also been drafted in.

The call-up for Griffiths comes after his 12th goal of the season helped fire Hibs to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and put him four clear on the goal charts. The 22-year-old played for Scotland Under-21s under Stark alongside Kelly.

Former Rangers youth player Shinnie has overcome injury problems earlier in his career to become a creative force at Caley Thistle, scoring six SPL goals this season from midfield and setting up five.

Stark, who was appointed to the role last Monday after Craig Levein was removed from his post, said on the Scottish Football Association website: "Obviously at this stage of the season, with players playing weekend and midweek, niggles and strains and withdrawals are to be expected.

"This match gives us an opportunity to look at players who maybe have not been had experience of the international set-up but who have been in tremendous form at their clubs. Leigh has been excellent for Hibernian and scored again yesterday. I know him from the under-21s and he is a talented player.

"Liam has been terrific for Kilmarnock and it is fitting that he gets an opportunity, while Andrew has been a real inspiration behind Inverness's success so far this season."

The SFA gave a list of the injuries, which read: Morrison (groin), Bardsley (hamstring), Fletcher (ankle), Maloney (abdominal), Adam (groin), Phillips (toe), Bannan (knee), Marshall (groin) and Mackie (ankle).

Source: PA