Scotland assistant manager
The Rangers midfielder was drafted in after wide players
Black's call-up has proved controversial given that Ibrox team-mate
Black's combative approach has not endeared him to many fans but Houston insists the 27-year-old former Inverness and Hearts player, who has just finished recovering from hernia surgery, deserves his opportunity for the Easter Road friendly.
The Dundee United manager, who claimed Levein's comments on Wallace had been misconstrued, said: "It's an opportunity for Ian to stake a claim in the Scotland squad, just like
"We know Ian, we know how well he played in the SPL last year in his performances against teams like Rangers and Celtic, and my club as well. He proved he was a very, very good player.
"We are short of a player who can sit there and spray the ball around because of the withdrawals. Ian has proved himself to be able to do that on many occasions.
"No doubt if he is given the opportunity, he will stand up to the challenge ahead.
"I don't see it as a one-off. He has proved that he can play at this level.
"Quite a few midfield players are out just now and that's what has given
"We were looking for a more defensive type to sit in front of the back four."
Also called up were Leeds forward
McCormack failed to make a squad last season despite hitting 19 goals for Leeds and expressed his frustration at missing out.
"Ross is a talented player and he was unlucky on a number of occasions not being in the squad, but it was because of the players that were already in the squad that Craig felt were better suited to what was needed," Houston said.
"But he has been patient and I always think that if you show a bit of patience the manager will keep you in mind.
"Ross was naturally upset when he felt he should have been in. Players are like that, but it's a great opportunity for Ross to stake a claim because the big ball game starts next month and Craig will give him the opportunity to prove himself."
Rhodes hit 40 goals for Huddersfield in its successful League One promotion campaign, and eight for Scotland Under-21s.
"Jordan's goalscoring record is phenomenal," Houston said. "What we have to look at is to make sure we supply Jordan with goalscoring chances that he can take because I don't think I've seen as good a finisher in any division for a long, long time.
"He has done exceptionally well for the Under-21s and scored a lot of goals and it may well be the opportunity for Jordan to start the match and see if he can hack it at full level.
"I'm convinced he can. Any international team is looking for goalscorers and you can't argue that
Black's call-up comes amid the absence of
But the Scotland captain has joined up with his international team-mates as he looks to return to playing football.
"Darren came last night and is very much part of the squad," Houston said.
"It's great to have him here because he has a big influence on the squad.
"He is in about the players and when you bring some younger players in, it's good to pass on the knowledge he has.
"In a way it's a coaching role but also to be about the squad and hopefully he can get himself back to fitness and in and about the team."