Scotland U21s manager Scott Gemmill says ‘there is a lot of work to be done’ after he handed out debuts to players from Liverpool, Manchester City and beyond.

Only Rangers duo Glen Middleton and Stephen Kelly had been capped at U21s level during the first of a double-header of friendlies with Northern Ireland, which Scotland lost 2-1. Athletic Bilbao striker Ewan Urain made his debut while Manchester City keeper Cieran Slicker started in goals, Liverpool prospect Tom Clayton coming off the bench.

The Manchester City keeper was one of many making their debuts. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Gemmill says the game was a learning curve: “If you put the game in context, it was very difficult for them as a few of the boys finished their seasons four weeks ago, some three weeks ago. I don’t think we played at the right intensity, which you could see. It was a new group with new players.

“That was all visible from the performance. We will try to improve but give opportunities to other players for sure. There is a lot of work to be done.”

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