McManus glad he played

Stephen McManus is glad he was not among the Old Firm stars who withdrew from the Scotland squad before last night's 1-1 draw with Croatia at Hampden Park.

The lead-up to George Burley's first game in charge of the national side was dominated by seven call-offs, including the Rangers quartet of Barry Ferguson, Christian Dailly, Lee McCulloch and Allan McGregor and Celtic midfielder Barry Robson.

All five of those players are expected to be available for Saturday's Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

In the absence of Ferguson, Celtic captain McManus was handed the armband for the game, in which Niko Kranjcar's 10th-minute opener was cancelled out by Kenny Miller on the half-hour mark.

McManus, 25, said: "I would have missed out on a big opportunity for myself so I am pleased to have played in it.

"It was one of the highlights of my career. It was a good game to play in and I think a draw was probably a fair result.

Elsewhere, Nigel Worthington believes fans saw "the real Northern Ireland" when they crushed Georgia 4-1 at Windsor Park.

Former Leeds United striker David Healy scored his 34th international goal on 33 minutes either side of Kyle Lafferty's first-half double on 25 and 36 minutes.

Healy's own goal was a slight blip but Peter Thompson (87) completed the scoring with his first strike in a Northern Ireland shirt.

Out-of-favour striker Freddy Eastwood put aside his frustration at club level to display his goalscoring prowess in Wales' friendly victory in Luxembourg.

Former Southend hitman Eastwood has not started a Wolves game since Boxing Day, but relished the chance to play for Wales and bagged a goal in each half – on 37 and 46 minutes – to complete a comfortable win for John Toshack's side.