Fulham star Tom Cairney looks set to force his way into Scotland’s World Cup plans against Slovenia.

The Fulham midfield star has caught the eye of Gordon Strachan and is likely to play a key part in the crucial group game next month.

Scotland boss Strachan admitted he was reluctant to call on Cairney last year because Matt Ritchie and Robert Snodgrass played in similar roles.

But he revealed: “Tom Cairney has been a big feature for Fulham. In fact, I’ve seen them so many times I feel part of their back-up squad.

“When he first joined them, Cairney played on the right side of a four, doing what Ritchie and Snodgrass does. I felt at the time that they were best suited in those roles. But now Cairney has moved to a three in midfield, he is a different player.

“As a matter of fact, I saw him playing just off a striker at Wolves recently. Then he went back to his normal position in the second half and was really terrific. So they have found a position that suits Tom now. Before the England game he was playing in the same area as Snodgrass and Ritchie. And they are simply top players.”