Paul Hanlon called up to Scotland squad for Netherlands friendly

Paul Hanlon has been handed his first call-up to the Scotland senior squad. Picture: SNS Group
Paul Hanlon has been handed his first call-up to the Scotland senior squad. Picture: SNS Group
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Paul Hanlon has been named in Malky Mackay’s Scotland squad to face the Netherlands in Aberdeen next month.

The Hibs defender has been in fine form for Neil Lennon’s side this season, and could win his first cap for the senior squad five years after his last appearance for the Scotland Under-21 side.

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Hanlon won 23 caps for the Under-21 side on top of ten for the Under-19s, and has captained both underage squads.

Interim boss Mackay has also called up Hearts captain Christophe Berra and Hanlon’s Easter Road team-mate John McGinn, while there are also spots for former Hearts favourite Callum Paterson, now at Cardiff City, and Nottingham Forest’s ex-Hibs striker Jason Cummings.

Cummings has netted four times since joining Forest from Hibs during the summer, including a brace against Newcastle United in a 3-2 victory in the Carabao Cup.

Paterson, who suffered a serious knee injury in December last year, only returned to first team action for Cardiff in their match against Middlesbrough on 21 October, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute.

Speaking at a press conference held to announce the squad, Mackay said: “Paul Hanlon is captain of Hibs, who are going from strength to strength.

“I went to the Edinburgh derby the other night and Hibs were terrific, and Hanlon was so calm at the back.

“He is someone who has been in the Scotland youth set-up but has taken his time to fill out and understand the position, to learn to adapt to leadership. I am seeing all that at the moment as are a few folk I have spoken to.

“[Jason] Cummings has been someone who has had a career at Hibs and in big games manages to step up to the plate.

“In him I see a young version of Leigh Griffiths: I see someone with pace, someone whose finishing ability is second to none. And it’s maybe time for him to start becoming the player who people thought had great potential.”