Hearts winger Andrew Driver has vowed to bounce back quickly from the "massive disappointment" of missing out on a Scotland call-up after it emerged he is not eligible to play for the country.

The England Under-21 cap pledged his allegiance to Scotland earlier this month after lengthy speculation sparked by the five-year schooling agreement set by the four home nations last year. However, Scottish Football Association checks discovered Driver had only attended school in the country for four years and eight months.

Oldham-born Driver, who has been injured for much of the season with a persistent knee problem, told www.heartsfc.co.uk: "I am a positive character and I just have to concentrate on getting myself fit and back into the Hearts team."

He added: "We have a new manager in Jim Jefferies and I have a new challenge to make sure I am a part of his plans.

"It is disappointing to think that I may have had a chance of playing for Scotland in a European Championship qualification campaign but there is no point in dwelling on that disappointment.

"My focus is with Heart of Midlothian but I wish Craig Levein and Scotland the best of luck for the forthcoming qualification."

Driver, who played for Scotland schoolboys, had long been linked with a Scotland call-up but the new rule did not come into practice until after he represented England in last summer's UEFA Under-21 Championship.

However, it is understood that former Scotland boss George Burley had no intention of picking the player, so his eligibility was not checked until after Levein declared that Driver was "dead keen" to pull on the dark blue.

Levein, who signed Driver for Hearts, said: "Firstly, let me express my heartfelt sympathy and deep disappointment for the player, who had expressed a keenness to play for Scotland when it first emerged he may have been eligible under the new rules.

"I spoke to the player and his father to inform them and they were obviously and understandably disappointed."

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#Oldham Athletic
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