Terry Butcher has claimed a top-six charge could help Easter Road defender Paul Hanlon push his way into Scotland boss Gordon Strachan’s European Championship squad.
Butcher feels the 24-year-old is “knocking on the door” of full international recognition, suggesting a thigh injury which forced him to miss a couple of recent matches had wrecked any hopes he might have had of being one of those named for next month’s friendly against Poland.
And the Hibs manager firmly believes it is only a matter of time before Hanlon, capped 33 times at Under-19 and Under-20 level by Scotland, many of them as captain, gets the call.
The former England skipper, a centre-half capped 77 by his country and the veteran of the finals of three world cups, said: “Paul is knocking on the door and I feel if the team shows more consistency, it will help his cause. The face he was injured and missed a few games hasn’t worked for him, but I do think sooner rather than later he will be there.
“Our ambition as a club, me as a manager and Paul as a player is to get into that squad and I am confident he will do that. It’s a matter of time if he keeps doing what he is doing and doing it well.
“If we can get clean sheets, climb the league, get into that top six then that will certainly help, but he is one I feel deserves to be in the squad. If we can get impressive results, get that unbeaten run going them I am sure Gordon Strachan will have a look for the future.”