Hibs’ Darren McGregor backed to handle a Scotland call-up

Darren McGregor holds off Hearts' Don Cowie
Darren McGregor holds off Hearts' Don Cowie
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Hibs defender Darren McGregor has been backed to take any potential Scotland call-up in his stride.

National team manager Gordon Strachan has generally favoured English-based centre-backs like Gordon Greer, Christophe Berra, Grant Hanley, Charlie Mulgrew and Russell Martin throughout his reign. However, after a dismal start to the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, it is anticipated that he will look to freshen things up when he names his squad for the Easter Road friendly against Canada and the Hampden qualifier at home to Slovenia later this month.

McGregor has been arguably the most consistent Scottish centre-back on the domestic scene this season and has been touted for a call-up. Danny Lennon, who worked closely with the 31-year-old at St Mirren and Cowdenbeath, believes he would rise to the challenge of representing his country.

“Gordon will know all about Darren but it just depends if he wants to go down the younger route to get them more experience,” Lennon said. “But If you’re looking at consistency of club performances, then Darren McGregor wouldn’t be far away if Gordon was to pull in one or two wild cards.

“He’s played at a good level in Scottish football for a number of years. He’s now got a lot of experience in terms of his decision-making. I’ve no doubt if he was given an opportunity, he would rise to that challenge. The one thing about Darren McGregor – if you give him a job to do, he does it. Anything flung at him, he embraces it. On effort alone, he deserves it. Look at where’s he come from to get to this level.”

Lennon doesn’t believe the fact McGregor is into his 30s should count against him as he believes he still has plenty good years ahead of him after only entering full-time football in his mid-20s. “Age is just a number for Darren,” said Lennon. “Two cruciates would have finished most players, but not Darren. I can see him going on for a good number of years at the top level because he’s a perfect pro.”