My Sporting Week: Gordon Strachan is right to call-up to Scotland squad Lewis McLeod for a closer look

Lewis McLeod (left) has been called up for games against Republic of Ireland and England at Parkhead
Lewis McLeod (left) has been called up for games against Republic of Ireland and England at Parkhead
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Lewis McLeod might not fancy this comparison, but he’s the Scottish David Nugent.

Purely for the reason that there has been such consternation among supporters that the dyna\mic Rangers midfielder is in the Scotland squad for next weekend’s over-priced home double-header.

I’ve seen comments of Gordon Strachan ‘pandering’ and McLeod’s performances in the Championship – and those of his opponents belittled because he’s beating the ‘part-time butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers’.

McLeod’s a bright young talent and even admitted he was preparing to seek out his name in the udner-21 squad – not the senior squad.

But why shouldn’t he be called up for a squad which he will, well, he most certainly should, be a firm fixture in over the course of the next four years or so.

Gordon Strachan is perfectly within his rights to call up one of the in-form players of the moment. It’s not likely he’ll get game-time against Republic of Ireland or England, but you never know.

Instead the call-up gives McLeod some experience of what it takes to be a full international and what it’s like in the senior Scotland camp.

Not only will that prepare him for what’s to come so he acclimatises quicker in years to come, but it will give Strachan the opportunity to have a closer look at him. Scrutinise his temperament, personality and play. After all, he’s up against so-called ‘butchers, bakers and candle-stick-makers’ week-in, week-out, isn’t he? He can only beat what’s in front of him - lets see how he does in training against the top tier’s best.

McLeod’s performances have stood out among Rangers players. Falkirk will need to watch out for him on Saturday, without question.

There was a lot of talk over England cap Nugent’s call-up from his country’s second-tier a few years ago. But most congratulated his personal achievement – he wasn’t slated as Strachan’s decision has been from certain quarters.

Certain critics over the call would do well to remember Tony Watt was beating second division defences (and only three times) with Airdrie United in 2011, and then beating Barcelona’s much-vaunted backline in 2012.

McLeod’s inclusion isn’t even the most baffling - I mean where is Scott Arfield’s call-up?