Scotland manager Berti Vogts has recalled Leicester City FC striker Paul Dickov to his squad for the friendly match against Portugal on 20 November - saying he was too hasty in dropping the forward for last month's UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier in Iceland.
Vogts has largely stuck by the players who won in Reykjavik and in a friendly against Canada for the 23-man squad to take on the EURO 2004™ hosts in Braga. However, the return of Dickov is a surprise. The forward was substituted after 45 minutes with Scotland 2-0 down in the Faroe Islands in September, in a game that finished 2-2.
'More of a striker'
"Maybe it wasn't fair to play Paul on the right side of midfield in that game - it's not his normal position," Vogts said. "His club manager told me he could play in that role, but I now know he is more of a striker."
Chance for Dickov
Vogts will start the match with in-form strikers Steven Thompson and Steven Crawford, but with Thompson suspended for the qualifying game at home to Iceland in March, Dickov could stake his claim. Celtic FC's Paul Lambert will captain Scotland, with Vogts has pledging to field his strongest team as he looks to build on two morale-boosting wins.
'A top-class side'
"I watched tapes of Portugal against England, Sweden and Tunisia and there's no doubt they are a top-class side," Vogts said. "But I look upon this game as a challenge for me and my players after we took so much confidence from the last two wins. I want to keep this squad of players together and talk with them during the trip so that we keep the spirit going for the qualifying games kicking off again in March."
Scotland currently lie second in EURO 2004™ Group 5, two points behind Germany but ahead of Iceland, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands.
Douglas, N Alexander, Gallacher, G Alexander, Anderson, Dailly, Davidson, Pressley, Ross, Stockdale, Wilkie, Devlin, Ferguson, Lambert, McInnes, Naysmith, Severin, Williams, Crawford, Dickov, Dobie, Kyle, Thompson.
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