Barry keen to re­pay Levein for sup­port over car con­vic­tion

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By DUN­CAN MCQUEEN

BARRY BAN­NAN wants to show Scot­land boss Craig Levein his thanks for the sup­port over his drink-drive con­vic­tion.

The 21-year-old was given an 18-month driv­ing ban and fined £4,500 in Novem­ber af­ter ad­mit­ting a string of of­fences fol­low­ing a crash on the M1 in Oc­to­ber.

Ban­nan missed the trip to Cyprus last year but has now re­turned to the squad.

And he said: “If I get on the pitch in Slove­nia I have got to re­pay Craig Levein.

“It’s good to be back. Be­cause of what hap­pened in Novem­ber, I couldn’t be in­volved in the squad.

“But Craig has shown great faith in me as I haven’t played a lot for As­ton Villa since the last Scot­land squad.

“The way he has han­dled ev­ery­thing has been great. He could eas­ily have just named the squad for the Cyprus game with­out telling me why.

“I had great re­spect for the gaffer be­fore this hap­pened – but that was en­hanced when he ex­plained to me why I wasn’t go­ing to be in­volved.

“He made it clear at the time that I had been left out for that rea­son only.

“He showed what a good man­ager he is by ring­ing me and talk­ing to me about what had hap­pened and try­ing to help me.

“What I did was stupid – there’s no other word to de­scribe it.

“I re­gret it so much, but it’s hap­pened and I can’t go back. I just have to make sure it never hap­pens again.”

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