John McGinn on Scotland mutes ambition: ‘Why not aim for 100?’

John McGinn on Scotland mutes ambition: 'Why not aim for 100?'


McGinn led Scotland to a 3-0 win over Ukraine and scored his 14th international goal
Location: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday September 24 Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio Scotland Extra/DAB/810MW, live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app, highlights on BBC One Scotland from 22:50

While John McGinn is on the cusp of his 50th Scotland cap, the midfielder is already dreaming of the century.

Aston Villa, 27, marked his 49th international game with the opening goal in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Ukraine in Hampden.


With Andy Robertson absent, McGinn is lining up to be captain again in Saturday’s encounter with Ireland.

“I’m getting a little emotional about how far I’ve come,” McGinn said.

“There have been many ups and downs in my career and it is definitely a pinch me moment and time for reflection.

“But it’s important for me to build on it. Why don’t you aim for 100? Because I’ll keep playing until I’m told I’m not good enough.”

Only Kenny Dalglish has made it to the triple digits for Scotland (102 caps).

Dalglish is the country’s joint record scorer at 30, along with Denis Law (55 caps), while McGinn now ranks ninth on that all-time list, along with Mo Johnston.

All of his 14 goals have come in 35 games under Steve Clarke.

“It’s probably a position I didn’t think I could play until the manager came in,” McGinn told BBC Scotland. “He pulled me aside one day and said, ‘I’m going to play you higher’. I managed to score a few goals and they just kept coming.

“Obviously it’s great for me to help the team. I feel the confidence from the stands, from the sidelines and especially from my team-mates. Hopefully I can continue to contribute and score for Scotland, which is the best feeling in the world.”

‘We must support Ukraine’s victory’

Scotland are now top of Nations League Group B1 and a draw in each of their last two games, against the Irish in Hampden and Ukraine in Krakow, would be enough to seal promotion to the A division, as well as a second-place finish for next month’s European Championship Qualifying Draw 2024.

“Beating Ukraine was a huge result, but it’s one we need to support,” McGinn said.

“We have to be a normal pot two team and try to go for pot one, not only for us, but also for the players coming through to make their way into the big tournaments easier.”

Scotland ended their 23-year wait for a place on the big stage at the delayed Euro 2020 final, but suffered a painful loss of the play-off semi-final against Ukraine in Glasgow in June, with Wales then beating Ukraine to win their prize. place in the English league. group at this winter’s World Cup.

“Once we get there, the manager doesn’t want to stop,” McGinn revealed. “As players, we probably need to change our mindset. Once we got to the European Championship, we should have realized we deserved to be there. But we weren’t used to it and got too involved in everything that comes with it. ”

“We will learn from that and we will learn from the experience of losing the play-offs. What hurts the most is that we know we are able to be in Qatar, so we have to use the feeling that we will not urge ourselves.” to get better.”