John McGinn has thanked Scotland manager Steve Clarke for taking his international career to ‘the next level’ as he prepares to face Aston Villa teammates at Euro 2020.
The midfielder will be one of Clarke’s key men as Scotland return to tournament football for the first time since 1998. They will face England at Wembley in one of their three group games, McGinn likely to face Aston Villa teammates like Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings. McGinn has sent his thanks to past and present manager ahead of the match.
But those in the England camp at Aston Villa have started the war of words already (Four Four Two): “Six or seven of the boys could easily be in the England squad. They were very quick to say that we’d come away from Wembley with nothing, but we’ll see. There aren’t many rivalries like it.
“I know what to expect if I go back to Birmingham with nothing to show for it so I’ll be doing everything I can to have the bragging rights. Steve Clarke has taken my Scotland career to the next level. I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“I also have to thank Gordon Strachan (former Scotland manager) for having the bravery to name me in a squad for the first time (in March 2016) when I was at Hibs in the second tier. He said that he believed in me and that I’d go on to have a long career.
“It ended up taking me 15 caps to get my first Scotland goal, and I might still have been waiting if it wasn’t for Steve: he tweaked my position and played me further up the park. He must have seen something in my game.”
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