Peter Houston thrilled with Stuart Armstrong’s Scotland debut after seeing ex-Dundee United protege win over Celtic fans

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PETER HOUSTON is confident Stuart Armstrong can become a firm favourite of the Tartan Army, just as he has won over the Celtic support.

Armstrong starred in his international bow against Slovenia on Sunday night, with Gordon Strachan insisting his display had been the best of any Scotland debut.

The Hoops midfielder set up Chris Martin for the decisive late goal that kept the nation’s World Cup dreams alive and was at the heart of Scotland’s best moments.

Houston handed the 24-year-old his club debut for Dundee United back in 2010 and was always confident he would blossom into a top-class performer.

And he was thrilled to see his former pupil make the grade on the international stage with such a confident performance.

The Falkirk manager said: “For the modern-day game, and the type of game that Stuart plays, pace is a big thing, and Stuart has it in abundance.

“But you have to be able to play, as well as having pace.

“We re-signed him on a three-year contract at Dundee United, and you don’t give players of that age three-year contracts if you don’t believe in them.

“He’s a clever boy as well, down to earth and polite, but most importantly a very good player, and I’m delighted for him.

“He has great vision and I think working with Brendan Rodgers this season he is just getting better and better.

“Playing in a team that is winning every week is giving him lots of confidence.

DOUBTS

“And Celtic fans are now, big time, into Stuart Armstrong, whereas when he dipped under Ronny Deila, playing in the wide areas, there might have been some doubts.

“But I don’t think there are any in the Celtic support now. They all know better now, that he’s top notch.

“Celtic fans are now enjoying him, and so they should because he’s a very good player.”

Houston, who was number two during Craig Levein’s ill-fated spell in charge of Scotland, was also thrilled for current manager Strachan after Sunday’s richly-deserved 1-0 victory over Slovenia.

He added: “I thought it was a fantastic performance and I’m delighted for Gordon Strachan, first and foremost, because the knives were out.

“And I’m delighted for the level of performance they put in, because they created loads of chances, for the first time in a wee while, maybe.

“I was thrilled because it puts it back in the melting pot again. It’s still going to be difficult but I think it gave the country a wee bit of a lift again.”

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