Stark Wins Tug-Of-War Over Forrest
Updated Thursday, 3rd November 2011
The Under 21 squad is meant to be a proving ground for the senior squad. That doesn't mean they don't need to retain some good players
There was a bit of a tug-of-warbetween Stark and Levein over the services of Forrest for their respective games. Stark hopes his side can continue their unbeaten start to the group games. Scotland are currently in second place behind Holland following two draws and a win. However, Stark warned against placing too much expectation on the Celtic winger, whose recent performances have reportedly attracted the attention of Spurs.
Stark went on: "If Craig had felt he'd needed James for Cyprus he'd have been there. But he was good enough to allow him to join us. We have to be careful from that point of view that he's not looked on as a saviour. He's a young lad that's done particularly well for the youth levels and now he's doing it both for his club and for the full international team. All he needs to do is keep doing what he's been doing. He'll need the help of 10 or 13 others in the game on Monday night, there's no doubt about that."
Rhodes is on fire at the moment and hopes to extend a run of five goals in the last two Under-21 games in Nijmegen. Oldham-born Rhodes, who qualifies for Scotland through the five-year schooling rule, has scored a total of 14 goals in his last seven games. Following Scotland's 11 November friendly in Larnaca, he will then immediately join up with the Under-21s. Stark added: "We're absolutely thrilled Craig's chosen Jordan. Hopefully he'll make his full debut in Cyprus and then come and join us. The goal-scoring ratio that he has is as good as anything I can remember. He's been doing that at a decent level and he has been for a couple of years. He's shown he can score at international level for us. Hopefully he can continue that."
Under 21 Squad: Adam (Rangers), Archer (Spurs), Ridgers (Hearts); Booth (Hibs), Cole (Rangers), Hanlon (Hibs), Jack (Aberdeen), Perry (Rangers), Wilson (Liverpool); Allan (Dundee United), Cairney (Hull), Forrest (Celtic), Kelly (Kilmarnock), Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday), Pawlett (Aberdeen), Wotherspoon (Hibs), Wylde (Rangers); Griffiths (Wolves), MacDonald (Burnley), Rhodes (Huddersfield), Russell (Dundee United).