Swanson and McManus called into Scotland squad

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Media conference: Scotland manager Craig Levein

Dundee United's Danny Swanson has been called up to the Scotland squad for the first time for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Spain.

The 24-year-old has been in impressive form for United this season and adds to the midfield options, with Celtic's Scott Brown out with an ankle injury.

But Swanson told BBC Scotland the call-up was a complete surprise.

"I came in to training not expecting to be in the squad; it is the best news I've had in a long time." he said.

"They're massive games for the country, and it is great to be a part of it. I can't wait to get Saturday's game out of the way, get a win there and concentrate on Scotland.

"I hope I won't get too starstruck. I don't want to go just for the craic, but whether I'm involved or not just to go on the plane with the squad is going to to be huge for me."

Centre-half Stephen McManus, who scored Scotland's winner against Liechtenstein at Hampden, returns to the squad.

Dundee United's Danny Swanson
Swanson's form for Dundee United has been noted by Levein and Houston

Scotland play in the principality on 8 October and in Spain three days later.

Hibernian striker Garry O'Connor is not named in the 25-man squad despite 10 goals already this season. However, Levein has said that the powerful front man is very much in his thoughts.

"The reason Garry isn't involved in this squad is because he has other issues to deal with just now off the field," the Scotland boss said.

"Once he has those clear and out of his mind then it will allow him to concentrate completely on football.

"I have made Garry aware that he is very much in my thoughts and that if he continues in this kind of form then he will be included in the squad."

Scotland's chances of reaching the play-off stage for the Euro 2012 finals rest on a favourable combination of results in the final two matches.

Spain have already won Group I, leaving the Czech Republic and Scotland to fight it out over the two remaining matches for the runner's-up spot and the play-off place that goes with it.

Michal Bilek's Czechs are two points ahead of Scotland as it stands.

The night before Scotland play in Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic host the European and world champions Spain.

If Spain can win that one and Scotland beat Liechtenstein, Levein's side would head to Spain in second place, needing to at least match the Czechs' result in their final game away to Lithuania.

Scotland squad: Goalkeepers - David Marshall (Cardiff City), Allan McGregor (Rangers) Matt Gilks (Blackpool) Defenders - Stephen McManus (Middlesbrough), Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen Crainey (Blackpool), Christophe Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic) Midfielders - Charlie Adam (Liverpool), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Don Cowie (Cardiff City), Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), James Forrest (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Steven Naismith (Rangers), Barry Robson (Middlesbrough), Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United), Danny Swanson (Dundee United) Strikers - David Goodwillie (Blackburn Rovers), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kenny Miller (Cardiff City)

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