Football

Gordon: Scotland ready to grow

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Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon believes the national team can come of age in the current World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Sunderland keeper, 25, will earn his 34th cap on Saturday when Scotland face Norway at Hampden and he is one of a group of players such as James McFadden, Darren Fletcher, Gary Caldwell, Scott Brown, Shaun Maloney and Stephen McManus who have earnt plenty of international experience by their mid-twenties.

"In my early days there were a lot of young players in the team with not a lot of caps to their name," he said. "Now, with the big-game experience we have got behind us in different environments and different stadiums, it is only going to help us in the long run."

He added: "All us guys on 30-40 caps still have a lot of time left in our careers.

"We could quite conceivably have six to eight years left. Hopefully, I'll be a bit longer because I'm a goalkeeper. "We are still in our mid-20s but to have that experience means we are able to help the next batch coming through."

Manager George Burley this week tipped 24-year-old Fletcher, who will captain Scotland on Saturday in the absence of the injured Barry Ferguson and McManus, to break the 100-cap mark.

And Gordon believes several of the squad could come close to that milestone - providing they start qualifying for major finals.

"If you get to one or two major finals then the preparation matches and the tournament itself would push the caps up," he added.

"You have to avoid injury and play in pretty much every match for the rest of your career to get to that. "We need to get there if any of us are going to get near that."

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Topics:
Sunderland
James McFadden
Shaun Maloney
Internationals
Football
Gary Caldwell
Stephen McManus
Darren Fletcher
Scott Brown
Scott Brown
Barry Ferguson
Craig Gordon

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