Has Scotland boss Alex McLeish dropped Jon McLaughlin hint after hailing Sunderland keeper?

Jon McLaughlin has won praise for his "exceptional" Sunderland form by Scotland boss Alex McLeish.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 13:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 13:38 pm

McLaughlin has been named in the Scotland squad for their upcoming European Championship qualifiers in Kazakhstan and San Marino and the 31-year-old has a strong chance of starting and adding to his one cap.

McLaughlin signed on a free last summer after leaving Hearts and he has proved a sensational piece of business by the Black Cats, firmly establishing himself as the club's No.1 keeper and a fan favourite.

Jon McLaughlin makes an important save in the goalless draw with Barnsley.

And his form between the posts for promotion-chasing Sunderland in League One has not gone unnoticed north of the border.

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His chances of adding to his single cap have been boosted further by Allan McGregor's retirement from international duty, while former Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon is out with a knee injury.

McLeish said: "Jon McLaughlin is on a mission to get Sunderland back into the Championship.

"They’ve had a couple of bad years but John’s form has been exceptional.

"Jordan Archer had a time out and now he is back in every single week and Millwall’s fortunes are turning a little bit also.

"Scott Bain has taken over from Craig Gordon (at Celtic), who would have been one of our choices had he not been injured.

"I think we’ve got three tremendous goalkeepers and it’s there for somebody to grab that chance."

Sunderland host Walsall at the Stadium of Light on Saturday and then have a two-and-a-half week break from League One action, though they do have the Checkatrade Trophy final against Portsmouth on March 31.

The game with Fleetwood a week Saturday was postponed as a result of international call-ups with McLaughlin and Lewis Morgan being away with Scotland, Jimmy Dunne and Aiden McGeady the Republic of Ireland and Tom Flanagan and Will Grigg Northern Ireland.