Derby County skipper says Craig Bryson and Paul Coutts are unlucky to be overlooked by Scotland
TEN Derby County players received call-ups for this week's international matches – but skipper Richard Keogh was surprised not to see two more.
Keogh, who won his first senior cap for Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, feels team-mates Craig Bryson and Paul Coutts were unlucky to be overlooked by new Scotland manager Gordon Strachan for the friendly against Estonia.
Bryson, Derby's reigning player of the year, has been capped once by his country but was left on the bench on his most recent call-up for a match in the United States last summer, when Craig Levein was still in charge of the national side.
Coutts is uncapped but has impressed this season since joining the Rams from Preston North End.
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"To be honest, I'm surprised Craig Bryson and Paul Coutts were not in the squad," said Keogh.
"I've played with them all season and they've been fantastic.
"But they're not too down about it.
"They're like everyone else – playing for their country is something they want to do.
"They just need to keep playing like they have been and, if they do, I'm sure they'll be involved sooner rather than later."
Bryson says he is not very hopeful about his international future.
"I just expect not to get called up now, so I'll just get on with playing as well as I can for Derby," he said.
"We'll see what happens in the future.
"I thought I played quite well last season and I hardly got anywhere near the Scotland squad.
"If I keep on playing well for Derby, you never know – but I won't get my hopes up.
"You're always hopeful (when there is a change of manager) but he picked his first squad and I wasn't involved.
"We'll just have to see what happens."
Conor Sammon, Keogh and Jeff Hendrick all made their Ireland debuts this week, while Theo Robinson won his first cap for Jamaica.
Will Hughes, Kieron Freeman and Valentin Gjokaj were in under-21 action for England, Wales and Albanina respectively.
Mark O'Brien joined up with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad but did not feature due to a sore knee, while Jamie Ward (hamstring) pulled out of Northern Ireland's friendly in Malta.
Mason Bennett, meanwhile, is currently away with England Under-17s for a tournament in Portugal.
Bryson is pleased for his team-mates who have received international recognition.
"It's excellent for the players, the club and the manager," he said.
"It just shows we're doing things right at Derby. I think it shows how far the club has come.
"It proves we're moving in the right direction.
"I think the manager has been fantastic with who he has brought in and how he has moulded the squad.
"It's nice to know that if we all stick together, we can achieve something great."
It's back to the Championship this weekend and an away match against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough today (3pm).
England Under-21 international Connor Wickham is expected to go straight into the Owls' squad after the striker joined them on loan from Premier League Sunderland.
The 19-year-old joined Sunderland from Ipswich Town for £8m in 2011 but has found his chances limited of late, especially after the recent arrival of Danny Graham from Swansea City.
As a result, Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill has allowed the player to move on loan.
Wickham scored in England Under-21s' 4-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday night – a game that Derby midfielder Will Hughes also played in.
Wednesday fought back from two goals down to earn a draw at Pride Park on the opening day of the season and have six wins and only one defeat in their last nine League games.