Scotland manager Steve Clarke has admitted to the Record that Aston Villa star John McGinn is enjoying a ‘fantastic run’ for club and country, after scoring two more goals in Tuesday’s 3-1 comeback win against Kazakhstan.
The Scots might have missed out on an automatic qualification spot for next summer’s European Championships but, thanks largely to the exceptional form of Villa’s £2.7 million midfielder, Clarke’s side have built some valuable momentum ahead of the play-offs.
McGinn has now scored six times in his last three games for his country, following a hat-trick against San Marino and a clinical volley against Cyprus with a well-taken brace at Hampden Park.
The former Hibernian ace is now the first player since James McFadden 12 years ago to find the net in three successive matches in Scotland colours, and Clarke is thrilled to see McGinn bring his club form onto the international stage.
“John is on a fantastic run of form. He has been great for Aston Villa for the last couple of seasons and he is starting to bring it onto the international stage,” said the former Kilmarnock boss, who has answered his considerable critics with a third win in a row.
“It’s very important to remember he is still in the early stages of his international career. The more games you play at this level, the better you become, the more experience you get and the better the team will become.
“When you’ve got any player in goal-scoring form that’s good for any team. John is the man scoring the goals this now and hopefully we’ll get one or two more that can to that as well.”
Clarke appears to have got the best out of McGinn by deploying him in a roving number ten role in front of Ryan Jack and Callum McGregor, a position which allows him to drop deep and harass opposition midfielders while breaking into the box and get on the end of crosses.
With McGinn in this type of form, Scotland have a genuine match-winner who might just make the difference in the play-offs.
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