Declan Gallagher says Scotland are more than capable of reaching Euro 2020 after the Motherwell captain helped the national team on their way to three huge wins.
The Well man was one of four players to start every game as Scotland secured three consecutive wins inside six days. A victory over Israel on penalties in a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final has set up a date with Serbia next month.
Whoever wins this contest will go to the major tournament next summer, which would be Scotland’s first since 1998. Gallagher says he’s confident success can be had as he calls for more positivity.
“I have said this before, the Scottish fans are quick to put Scotland down,” the Well captain said.
“Even the other night there I still saw people being so negative: ‘Aye, but we played against Czech Republic’s D team and only beat then 2-1.’ They (Slovakia) made nine changes.
“We made four changes against Slovakia and we had three out with Covid issues, so it shows we can change the squad as well.
“With the likes of myself, Andy Considine, Stephen O’Donnell, it just shows the Scottish league isn’t far away from the English league at all.
“I think the Scottish fans need to start backing our league a bit more because we showed the other night, we played against Czech Republic’s main team and beat them 1-0, regardless of how the performance was.
“We have gone eight games unbeaten so we have to take a lot of pride from that. Over the last two camps we have had that confidence. It’s eight games unbeaten so we have to start taking more confidence in ourselves and our performances.
“We have to go into the Serbia game believing we can win it or there is no point turning up. I have always been a confident person. I have always been one of the loudest in the changing room
“I don’t see them as big footballers (his Scotland teammates), I just see them as people. You go into a changing room full of boys and have the banter, it’s the same banter as there is back here. Nothing changes just because of the money they make or the clubs that they play for.”
Now Gallagher is focused on a return to the domestic scene with Motherwell, who face St Mirren this afternoon. He’s looked back on his own rise from League One battler to Hampden hero as he looks to keep the positive mindset.
“The reason I got my call-up was because I was playing well for my club and I have to continue that,” he said. “I spoke to Stephen Craigan the other day and he said one of the biggest things mentality-wise was trying to go from the high you got at international football and take it back to club football.
“I have to work at keeping that high, keeping it positive, and take it into my club football. A few seasons ago I was playing League One with Livingston, working my way through the divisions.
“To then say I’m a Scotland internationalist is brilliant. I’ve been in the last four camps and played the last three games – I think that’s five caps I’ve got now and been unbeaten in all five.
“If you told me that when I was playing at Airdrie for Livingston I probably wouldn’t have believed you.”