Blades ace's Euro dream

NICK Montgomery wants to join Sheffield United teammate Gary Naysmith at next year's European Championships.

Monday, 15th October 2007, 9:32 am
Updated Monday, 15th October 2007, 9:35 am

Scotland full-back Naysmith is on the verge of realising his ambition to reach the finals of a major tournament following his country's victory over Ukraine.

Alex McLeish's side lead Group B with just two qualification games remaining, starting in Georgia on Wednesday.

Naysmith recovered from injury in time for Saturday's 3-1 win and, providing he returns from Tbilisi with his fitness intact, should be declared fit for this weekend's visit of Preston North End.

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Montgomery is also sidelined after damaging ribs before contracting pleurisy.

But, having previously represented Scotland at under-21 and futures level, he is refusing to give up on his dream of achieving a senior international cap.

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Lane boss Bryan Robson, whose team have suffered a difficult start to the Champion-ship season, recently hailed Montgomery as one of his most important players, and the Leeds born midfielder is convinced that by helping United force themselves into the promotion reckoning he can persuade McLeish to select him for a planned series of friendlies in the spring.

"First and foremost, I want to do well for United," Mont-gomery said, "That is my number one priority.

"But of course I'd love to play for Scotland, and if I can do well for United then who knows? It's definitely not something I've given up on.

"There was talk of me being called up for some games last summer but I got injured."

Some observers have made Montgomery a scapegoat for United's lack of creativity but Robson argued that his selflessness provides the perfect platform for the club's more inventive elements to flourish.

"Nick's never going to hit a string of 50-yard passes or go past people but he brings other things to the table," he said.

Manchester United full-back Phil Bardsley is being linked with a possible loan move to Bramall Lane.

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