Belfast Telegraph

McGregor: Scots are feeling good

Euro hopes: Callum McGregor wants to play on the big stage
Euro hopes: Callum McGregor wants to play on the big stage

By Ronnie Esplin

Callum McGregor believes Scotland have to retain the feel-good factor from their 3-1 win over Kazakhstan for the next four months.

Steve Clarke's side concluded their Euro 2020 qualification campaign on Tuesday with a third successive victory despite falling behind to a terrific strike from Baktiyor Zainutdinov.

John McGinn made it six goals in three internationals as his double, one either side of a header from captain Steven Naismith, helped Scotland secure third place in Group I.

The Scots had already failed to qualify through the group, but can look forward to the alternative route to next summer's finals, the play-offs in March.

Scotland will discover their opponents tomorrow from a group that includes Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Israel.

"It would be good if it was in four weeks' time," said Celtic midfielder McGregor after the win at Hampden Park. "We have to try and bank that, remember the feeling. I am sure the manager will still be in touch with the players over the Christmas period and into the new year. We came away with two wins this week, we won in Cyprus as well, which is difficult.

"We played well, got six points and scored some goals, so we can be feeling good about ourselves come March."

McGregor has been part of a successful Celtic side which has won the last nine trophies in Scotland and are looking to make it a quadruple domestic treble this season. However, he admits playing at a major finals with Scotland is something that he is desperate to add to his CV.

The 26-year-old said: "Definitely. I speak about it all the time. I've had a great career with Celtic, really fortunate, but the Scotland stuff, you want to be part of that. You want to get Scotland to a major tournament.

"When we turn up we are learning all the time. I think we can go into the March game with real confidence."

Meanwhile, Clarke wasted no time in showing centre-back pairing Declan Gallagher and Scott McKenna the error of their ways following the win.

The Scotland boss was unimpressed by the way Motherwell defender Gallagher and Aberdeen's McKenna allowed Baktiyor Zainutdinov time and space to fire in a terrific opener in the 34th minute at Hampden Park.

"The gaffer had a go at us and he showed us the video after," said Gallagher.

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