Sunderland ace Steven Fletcher welcomed back to Scotland squad

A PAIR OF FLETCHERS ... Scotland players Steven Fletcher (left) and Darren Fletcher during a training session.
A PAIR OF FLETCHERS ... Scotland players Steven Fletcher (left) and Darren Fletcher during a training session.

STOKE City midfielder Charlie Adam says there will be no resentment towards Steven Fletcher inside the Scotland camp after the Sunderland striker’s return to the international fold.

Fletcher had a very public falling out with Scotland manager Craig Levein, which was finally settled last week, allowing the Black Cats forward the opportunity to try to salvage Scotland’s floundering World Cup qualifying campaign.

And former Blackpool and Liverpool midfielder Adam said the importance of the matches ahead far outweighs any lingering interest in the spat between manager and striker.

“You want your best players available, and he is one of our best players, so it is good to see him back involved,” said Adam.

“What happened has happened, it’s done and dusted. Let’s move on.

“It’s up to the manager if he plays, but for us it’s good to have him in the squad because he adds to the quality that we already have.

“Whoever plays up front as a pair or on their own they will be trying to do the best for their country.

“We are all in the same boat – we want to get to Brazil, and hopefully the quality that has come into the squad for these two games can enhance our chances.”

Fletcher is rooming with ex-Hibs team-mate Scott Brown, who was glad to see his old friend back in the international fold.

“It is brilliant,” said the Celtic skipper.“He’s a great guy and a good friend as well, so I am glad he is back. He’s a good lad to have around, so we will accept him no problem.

“He didn’t say a lot. He just said he is looking forward to getting the strip back on and getting back into training, and pretty much forget about everything that has happened in the last couple of years.”

Fletcher himself is just looking forward to the job of improving Scotland’s qualification hopes.

He said: “I am desperate to play for Scotland again and, like Craig Levein, I regret that it has taken this long to come about.

“I’m sure we have both done a lot of thinking during the last two years, but the country comes first.

“I think it just became apparent that we all needed to move on. The most important thing is that I can look to restart my international career.

“I am a proud Scot, and it is a privilege to play for my country.

“When I first spoke to Craig again it was fine, and was not awkward at all. We both said our piece and agreed that whatever happened, the country comes first.

“I had a good chat with the manager when he came to visit at the training ground last week and, while it was important we discussed the past and put it to bed, it was more important that we focused on the future.

“I understand why people want to know what changed, but the truth, as the manager said last week, was that the situation wasn’t helping anyone.

“I am just happy to be back as part of the squad, and looking to make a positive contribution in what are two massive World Cup qualifiers.

“I am a more experienced player than I was two years ago, and I am delighted with the way things have gone at Sunderland.

“Martin O’Neill has been very supportive, as has Phil Bardsley –who is gutted to be missing through injury.”

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