BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibs star John McGinn admits he is honoured by the prospect of a maiden call-up to the senior Scotland squad.
The 21-year-old has been a stand-out performer during the Hibees’ bid for a remarkable treble after joining the club from St Mirren last summer.
He turned in another combative display on Tuesday evening as Alan Stubbs’ men claimed a deserved 1-0 win over city rivals Hearts to march into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.
With national boss Gordon Strachan set to name two different squads for the upcoming friendlies against Czech Republic and Denmark next month, it has been mooted that McGinn, Scotland’s captain at under-21 level, will be in at least one of those gatherings.
“It would be a massive honour to be called up for Scotland,” said the energetic midfielder. “It is nice to even be spoken about.
“I’m concentrating on my football with Hibs and really enjoying it. If I do that then hopefully success will come my way.”
McGinn has has firmly established himself as the heartbeat of a side which has reached the League Cup final, is in the last eight of the Scottish Cup and are on the coattails of Rangers in the chase for the Championship title.
Allied with his commitments or Scotland’s under-21 side, McGinn has made 34 appearances this season – and, while the capital club rack up the victories, the fixture list shows no sign of thinning out.
Nevertheless, McGinn has dismissed the notion that he could do with a rest following another breathless Edinburgh derby.
“I’m just enjoying playing the games and I don’t need a rest,” continued McGinn. “I got fouled late on and I hardly had the energy to get back up! However, I’m 21 years old and I’m happy to be playing.
“I’m part of a really good team, which is always enjoyable, and when you get out on the pitch the adrenaline keeps you ticking over and the tiredness fades away.
“We just didn’t give Hearts a chance to play on Tuesday. Maybe in the second half, we dropped a bit deep and it was backs to the wall at times – too much for our liking – but we still created chances.
“It was no surprise, given our performances this season, that we managed to dig in and get a massive result.”
McGinn reserved particular praise for his former Buddies teammate Darren McGregor, who was pivotal in the heart of defence during that late period of resilience on Tuesday evening.
“Everyone knows what Paul Hanlon is about and I played with Daz [Darren McGregor] at St Mirren – he is different class,” McGinn told Hibs TV. “He is probably one of the best defenders I have played with.
“He is strong, fast and everything you need. You could see he was a Hibee out there, heading everything and kicking everything!”