Scottish Premier League

McGeouch has an eye on Juve

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Wed, 27 Feb 2013 09:07:00

Swansea midfielder Leon Britton is not giving up hope of getting a late call-up to Roy Hodgson's England squad.

The 30-year-old has earned plaudits for his performances at Swansea, playing a key role in their successful Capital One Cup run this season, which concluded with a 5-0 thumping of Bradford in the final on Sunday.

England boss Hodgson, who saw Britton in action from the stands at Wembley, proved age does not necessarily have a bearing on his selection process when he handed 31-year-old Everton man Leon Osman his international debut late last year.

That call-up has given Britton fresh hope but he knows it is out of his hands and is focused on performing for the Swans.

"You never give up hope of playing for your country," he told the Daily Star.

"All I have got to do is concentrate on playing well for Swansea and if something was to ever come up it would be a dream come true.

"It is out of your hands really. Leon Osman has been playing in the Premier League since he came through the ranks, which is a lot longer than myself.

"I don't know him but the England manager has shown he will pick someone whether he is 17, like Raheem Sterling of Liverpool, or 31 like Leon."

Britton admits there has been no contact with Hodgson over a possible call-up.

He added: "Last season Fabio Capello came down to see a game. Stuart Pearce watched a training session and said he was keeping an eye on me and a couple of other players. But I haven't heard anything since."

The Celtic midfielder, 20, was set to come on as a late substitute in the famous Group G win against the Catalan giants at Parkhead in November.

However, a 90th minute strike by Messi to make it 2-1 to Celtic meant McGeouch was stood down as the Scottish champions saw out the last few seconds.

The Hoops' trip to Turin for the second leg of their last-16 tie with Juve looks to be an exercise in futility after a 3-0 defeat in the first game at Parkhead.

However, ahead of Wednesday night's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash against Motherwell at Fir Park where the Scotland Under-21 player hopes to make his third successive start, he admits to having one eye on Italy.

He said: "Every opportunity you get you need to take and hopefully if you do well you can get involved in the Champions League.

"I was on the bench for the Barcelona game. I was just about to come on and Messi scored so that put the dampener on that.

"It was the last couple of minutes, to run down the time.

"I was standing there at the side of the pitch and Messi scored so that ruined my chances - although I suppose it is okay if it is him.

"Growing up watching the Champions League, it would be great to be involved in it. "Most of us are new to it this year and it would be great to get an appearance.

"Hopefully I can do that and hopefully we can go over there and get a positive result."

McGeouch admits Celtic's comfortable 21-point lead over Inverness at the top of the table will help him get more opportunities to impress manager Neil Lennon.

The former Rangers player started against Inverness and Dundee, scoring in the 5-0 home win over the Dens Park side on Sunday.

He said: "It is just about getting game time and showing the manager and fans that I am able to step up.

"It was good to get on the score sheet against Dundee and the manager said he was pleased.

"Obviously if the league was a lot closer he is going to play his strongest 11 every game and maybe myself and few others might not get as much game time.

"But because there is a little gap he can afford to change the team and he did that up in Inverness and it paid off, we won, so it shows him that we can play and get the results."

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