Hearts coach backing Stewart for Scotland

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He told the Edinburgh Evening News: "I think he is playing at such a level now that he could be involved with the national team. He has been playing consistently well for Hearts for the last wee while and he has a confidence in his own ability.

"I know that there have been injuries and suspensions for Alex McLeish to deal with over the last few days but when they've been fit and free of suspensions, the midfield Scotland has right now has been playing fantastically well.

"But if Scotland do qualify for Austria and Switzerland, and he keeps playing in the same manner that he has been recently, then I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be in with a chance of being involved over there.

"He's consistent and he's got a great football mind, he's a great football player, so he could be an option if Scotland make it through.

"Alex McLeish has got a lot of different options, Barry Robson was on the bench against Ukraine, so obviously he looking at all of the Scottish clubs and beyond for players who could come in and do a job for him.

"I'm sure that Alex will know all about Michael and if he remains consistent then you never know what can happen."