Thursday, June 30, 2022
SportInternational FootballFormer Scotland & Rangers winger insists Celtic factor helped Scotland revive World...

Former Scotland & Rangers winger insists Celtic factor helped Scotland revive World Cup hopes


Former Scotland winger Neil McCann insists the Celtic factor helped Gordon Strachan’s side get their World Cup qualifier hopes back on track.

Hoops players Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths all started in Sunday’s crucial 1-0 Group F victory over Slovenia.

Although Griffiths has struggled for game time at club level, the remaining five have all played central roles in helping Brendan Rodgers’ champions-elect go undefeated at domestic level all season.

(PIC: Sky Sports)

Armstrong was a stand-out at Hampden and capped a man of the match performance by setting up Chris Martin for the winner, prompting Strachan to declare that it was the best Scotland debut he had seen.

And former Rangers and Hearts forward McCann insists the Celtic six transferred their winning mentality to the international stage.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “When you’ve got players in the side that are enjoying huge success and have great brief in how they play, then, of course.

“Kieran Tierney was exceptional, for a young kid to be thrown in out of position in an international match and perform like he did was brilliant.

“Scott Brown was up there for man of the match for me in terms of his driving force from the middle of the park.

“I think it showed you how much it meant to him at the end, I’ve not seen Scott Brown that animated for a long, long time.

“Stuart Armstrong, it’s his composure, his awareness of the game, his calmness to play the right pass that got us on our way.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Stuart Armstrong.”

McCann, meanwhile, reckons the booing of match winner Martin when he came on from James Morrison in the 82nd minute was uncalled for.

He said: “I’m pretty disappointed with the reception he got when he came on, I thought it was poor.

“He didn’t have a great game against Canada but that guy has got us a lifeline.

“That’s not nice when you hear that, to come on to the pitch to those boos.

“I can understand the nerves and apprehension but it doesn’t help anyone that.

“But fair play to the guy, he came on and got us out a hole, maybe that will kick start his Scotland career and I hope it does because it certainly kick started our campaign.”

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