Ali McCann is learning all the time from the likes of Jonny Evans and Rangers’ Steven Davis – now he’s hoping to create history with them.

The St Johnstone midfielder will be with Northern Ireland as they take on Slovakia in a Euro 2020 play-off final this Thursday. Competing with the likes of the Rangers man for a place in midfield will make it tough for McCann to make it into Ian Baraclough’s starting XI.

St. Johnstone v Kilmarnock - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

The Rangers ace will make it tough for McCann. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

But getting to learn from the country’s all-time leading appearance holder who plays in the same position as he does is something McCann’s cherishing at the moment. St Johnstone’s technical ace says it can only be a benefit to him.

“People like Steven have had great careers, playing down in England and in the Premier League,” McCann said.

“He has 120-odd caps for Northern Ireland and just watching him day to day he is such a good professional. You don’t have a career like he has had without being a good pro and being at it every day.

St. Johnstone v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Learning from the Rangers man. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“If I can take anything from player like him it can only help me in my career. All the older lads show an interest and try to keep young players like me right.

“They helped me settle in and I felt part of it whenever I got there.”

McCann heads into this game off the back of a brilliant display in St Johnstone’s 1-0 win over Kilmarnock. His form over last season and the start of this one has propelled him into senior international football.

St. Johnstone v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

International baller. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Baraclough called him across the water for the first time on the senior scene last month and it’s something McCann is grateful for. Now he wants to try and create some Northern Irish history.

“It was great getting my first call-up,” said McCann. “There are loads of big names in the team and all the lads were brilliant with me. It was a great experience to be in and around it.
St. Johnstone v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Looking forward to the link-up. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“We have a massive game on Thursday now. I feel honoured just to be involved in such a high-pressure big game. I’m buzzing to go. It works hand in hand with playing for St Johnstone.
“If I play well here hopefully the Northern Ireland manager will be watching and I keep getting called up. That would be brilliant for me. That’s the aim really.”
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