RUSSELL CAN INSPIRE U21s - STARK
Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark hopes Johnny Russell's temporary international promotion can inspire his team-mates ahead of their qualifier against Bulgaria.
Russell faces his third flight in two days after being called up to the Scotland squad for the friendly in the United States.
The Dundee United striker did not feature in the Jacksonville friendly but he trained with Craig Levein's squad for a week in Florida before arriving back in Glasgow on Monday morning.
Russell then flew down to London with his under-21 team-mates and will be on a flight to Sofia ahead of Thursday's game in Lovech.
And, although Scotland were on the end of a 5-1 thrashing, Stark believes the 22-year-old's enthusiasm about his experience could prove infectious.
Stark said: "Players, well human beings, are nosy people so they will be asking what it's like and he'll be passing on his experiences.
"Hopefully it makes them jealous and they will want to achieve what Johnny has achieved.
"Equally for Johnny he will want to prove he can get on the pitch and put that Scotland jersey on and he knows his club form particularly, but what he has done for the under-21s has also, helped him join up with the big squad."
Fellow forward Jordan Rhodes also joined up late with the squad after helping Huddersfield into the npower Championship following a play-off win over Sheffield United on Saturday.
Stark believes Rhodes' physical fatigue will be offset by the excitement of achieving promotion as he reported the Huddersfield forward still being on a high.
"As is Johnny Russell - he's tired but he's high," Stark said.
"He's had his first involvement with the big team, which is great.
"We have until Thursday to recuperate him from the travel but we have had the benefit from Johnny training with the big squad.
"He's an exuberant boy who shows great enthusiasm and vitality in terms of training and playing."
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