Hibs’ Darren McGregor laughs off calls for Scotland inclusion

Darren McGregor says if anyone in Hibs' defence deserves a Scotland call-up then it's Paul Hanlon. Pic: SNS
Darren McGregor says if anyone in Hibs' defence deserves a Scotland call-up then it's Paul Hanlon. Pic: SNS
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Hibs defender Darren McGregor believes a Scotland call-up is “beyond the realms of possibility”.

McGregor and his central defensive partner Paul Hanlon have earned rave reviews this season, with the Hibees boasting the best defence in the whole of British league football with just seven goals conceded.

Allied to the national team’s poor performances in the World Cup qualifiers and severe criticism and scrutiny of the Scots backline, there have been calls for Scotland manager Gordon Strachan to look at McGregor and Hanlon – a view vindicated last week by Easter Road midfielder Fraser Fyvie, who called the duo the best defenders in Scotland right now.

However, McGregor, 31, was far more pragmatic in the wake of Hibs’ 4-0 win over Queen of the South, saying: “For me that’s just way beyond the realms of possibility. I just deal with what I can if something like that did materialise, Paul [aged 26] would probably deserve it because he is younger.

“But if Gordon Strachan wants an old cart-horse then I’m willing to oblige. But I’m happy to be here, happy to be playing and anything else is obviously a massive bonus.”

While team-mate John McGinn has already forced his way into Strachan’s plans, McGregor admitted many would see that playing in the Championship would count heavily against being called up although Hanlon captained Scotland’s Under-21 side on numerous occasions.

McGregor added: “There are guys playing in the Scotland team that are playing in the English Premier League.

“I can see the naysayers would say, ‘they are playing in the Scottish Championship’, so I can understand that. But if we are doing our jobs, keeping clean sheets, then we are doing something right.”