Levein - Fletcher return a big boost

Congleton Guardian: Steven Fletcher has settled his differences with Craig Levein Steven Fletcher has settled his differences with Craig Levein

Scotland manager Craig Levein believes the dramatic return of Steven Fletcher is a major boost for himself and the rest of the national team.

The Sunderland striker was a shock inclusion in the 25-man squad named at Hampden for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium. The moves ends an international exile stretching back to February 2011, when Fletcher informed the SFA by text message that he did not wish to be selected for a game against Northern Ireland.

What followed was a lengthy stand-off between manager and player until Levein picked up the phone this week. The Scotland boss said: "We went through a number of things and I plan on making an appointment for us to see each other later this week as well so we will go into it a little bit further then. It was great to have a chat with him. It went very well."

Levein added: "He just said he was desperate to play and, if he was named in the squad, he would be here and he would be doing his best for us. It's a big plus for me and the rest of the team for him to be involved."

The Tartan Army could be treated to the sight of a £20million strike partnership in the Cardiff clash if Levein opts to play both Fletcher and Jordan Rhodes but the manager was giving nothing away.

He said: "Well, we've got loads of possibilities with this squad that we've got together.

"At this minute in time, I'm not anywhere near picking the starting line-up.

"But there are so many different combinations in there and that excites me.

"Looking at the list of players, Steven Fletcher is back, our captain Darren Fletcher is back and I've got Scott Brown, probably one of our most influential players, back as well.

"So it's a good day for me."

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