McGregor set to miss out

  • Last Updated: August 25 2012, 8:19 BST

Craig Levein admits it will take a "miraculous" recovery from Allan McGregor for him to consider the goalkeeper for Scotland's opening two World Cup qualifiers.

Allan McGregor: Set to miss out

McGregor is Levein's first-choice goalkeeper, but he suffered a groin injury in the country's recent friendly win over Australia.

It had been hoped the Besiktas stopper would make a recovery in time for Scotland's opening two qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia on September 8 and 11, but that now appears highly unlikely.

While Levein was reluctant to completely rule out the former Celtic man, he conceded McGregor has only a very slim chance of starting the two games, leaving him to choose between Blackpool's Matt Gilks and David Marshall of Cardiff instead.

"One of Marshall or Gilks will play in the opening two games unless Allan makes a miraculous recovery," said Levein, who was speaking at the Vauxhall Road to Brazil 2014 media conference in London.

"I spoke to Allan this morning. There has been some improvement in his condition. If you asked me last week whether he would have been involved, I would have said yes, but now I am unsure."

Levein insists he will not call up former number one Craig Gordon until he finds a new club.

Gordon was released by Sunderland this summer after an injury-plagued spell at the Stadium of Light, but he has been assured that he will feature in Levein's plans once he finds himself a new club.

"I think it would be very difficult for him to come in and play without having a club, but once he gets himself a club and gets back in training and gets some game time under his belt then he will be in the squad," Levein added.

"He has had a little niggle that he is trying to recover from. He is now looking for a club.

"I expect, maybe come October, for the second round of games, there is a possibility (he will get called up)."

One player who will definitely not be in Levein's squad is Steven Fletcher.

Fletcher yesterday completed his £12million move to Sunderland, making him the most expensive Scottish player in history.

The striker will not be allowed to return to the international fold, however, as Levein is still unhappy about the 25-year-old refusing to play for his country against Northern Ireland last year.

"The door is closed on Steven," said Levein, who was speaking at the Vauxhall Road to Brazil 2014 media conference in London.

"All he needed to do was send a text or make a phone call to play for his country. He didn't do it so as far as I am concerned the door is closed and we will move on without him."