CROCK AND ROLL! Cald­well: In­juries will prove Scots’ squad is strong enough BRI­TAIN’S NEW SPORTS BET­TING PA­PER!

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Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By AN­GUS REID

GARY CALD­WELL be­lieves Scot­land can use the visit of Aus­tralia to prove they have the strength in depth to chal­lenge for a place at the 2014 World Cup fi­nals.

Scot­land suf­fered four with­drawals ahead of tonight’s friendly with Phil Bard­s­ley, Gra­ham Dor­rans, James For­rest and Jamie Mackie all pulling out. With Scott Brown un­avail­able be­cause of a hip prob­lem and Dar­ren Fletcher still to re­turn to ac­tion, Cald­well will cap­tain the side at Easter Road.

Kenny Miller and Barry Rob­son are be­ing rested fol­low­ing their moves to Van­cou­ver White­caps, while Steven Whit­taker and Craig Mack­ail-Smith were injured when Craig Levein picked his squad.

Hud­der­s­field and Scot­land U21 striker Jor­dan Rhodes will be handed his first start while Rangers mid­fielder Ian Black and Leeds for­ward Ross McCor­mack have both been drafted in.

Levein wants the game as a chance to get the 5-1 de­feat by the USA out of their sys­tem be­fore the start of the World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign against Ser­bia at Ham­p­den on Septem­ber 8.

Al­though the home fans will ex­pect a pos­i­tive re­sult, Aus­tralia are ranked 24 in the world – 22 places above Scot­land.

But Cald­well be­lieves the Scots will show they have the depth to get re­sults when not at full strength.

Qual­ity

“Over the last few years we’ve shown there’s a big­ger group than the 22 who can be picked in a squad,” the Wi­gan cen­tre-back said.

“You just need to look at the squad list to see the amount of play­ers play­ing in the Premier League in Eng­land and the Cham­pi­onship, which is a fan­tas­tic league.

“I think the over­all qual­ity of the play­ers that are get­ting picked is bet­ter than the groups I’ve been in­volved with in the past.

“But it’s no good just say­ing it, we have to go out and show it in ev­ery game we play.

“The qualifiers are dif­fer­ent. We had a good run in friendlies in the last cam­paign and couldn’t quite take that form into qualifiers.

“Hope­fully we’ve learned from that and can use the ex­pe­ri­ence in this cam­paign.

“Ob­vi­ously we were very dis­ap­point­ing in Amer­ica. We want to pick our­selves up and show we’re a bet­ter team than that.

“The per­for­mance will be im­por­tant but also we want to get back to win­ning ways.”

CON­FI­DENT: Gary Cald­well

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