Alex McLeish claims he considered calling up Rangers ace David Bates

Alex McLeish of Nottingham Forest looks on during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round match Nottingham Forest and Oldham Athletic at City Ground on January 5, 2013 in Nottingham, England.

Rangers defender David Bates has impressed in 2018.

Alex McLeish of Nottingham Forest looks on during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round match Nottingham Forest and Oldham Athletic at City Ground on January 5, 2013 in Nottingham, England.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish has told the Glasgow Evening Times that he considered calling up Rangers defender David Bates before his injury against Celtic.

Former Rangers manager McLeish became Scotland boss for the second time in his career back in February, being named as the replacement for Gordon Strachan after a lengthy search for his successor.

McLeish has now named his first squad, with friendly games against Costa Rica and Hungary coming up later this month, given that Scotland have no World Cup to plan for.

Moussa Dembele of Celtic controls the ball under pressure of David Bates of Rangers during the Scottish Cup Semi-Final match between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park on April 23, 2017 in...

Scotland's first squad under McLeish has caught the eye of many, with the likes of Jon McLaughlin, Barry Douglas, Scott McKenna, Kevin McDonald, Dylan McGeouch, Scott McTominay and Oliver McBurnie all named as they seek their first caps.

McLeish has also placed a strong focus on the Old Firm, with four Celtic players and three Rangers players named in the squad, and another Gers player missed out as well.

Rangers stars Russell Martin, Jamie Murphy and Jason Cummings are all in the Scotland squad, and manager McLeish has now revealed that David Bates came close to a call-up too.

Referee Jonathan Bilinski gets between David Bates of Scottish club Rangers FC (R) and Lucca of Brazilian club Corinthians during their Florida Cup soccer game at Orlando City Stadium in...

Bates, 21, has impressed this season but suffered an injury in Sunday's 3-2 defeat to Celtic, which may have ruled him out of the Scotland squad anyway.

McLeish has told the Glasgow Evening Times that he has been watching Bates and likes him as an old-fashioned centre half with great size, but feels that a call-up has maybe come too soon for him anyway, regardless of his injury.

“I looked at David over the last couple of weeks and I think it’s a bit early for him," said McLeish. “He’s been doing really well and he’s a big unit and I felt for him on Sunday. This squad might just have come too soon for him, but he’s a big rugged centre half in the old school kind of fashion and he’s learning very quickly. He’s had to come in for injured players and he has really progressed,” he added.

Alex McLeish of Nottingham Forest looks on during the npower Championship match between Derby County and Nottingham Forest at Pride Park Stadium on January 19, 2013 in Derby, England.

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