Scotland 1-0 Denmark: McGinn and Tierney shine on debuts

Scotland's John McGinn
McGinn turned in a performance full of industry in the Scotland midfield

John McGinn recovered from a bout of nerves to turn in an accomplished display on his Scotland debut.

The 21-year-old was named man-of-the-match in the 1-0 win over Denmark.

Both he and Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney, 18, impressed manager Gordon Strachan at Hampden.

"I was probably as nervous as I've ever been but it's credit to the older boys - Gordon Greer, Scott Brown, on his 50th cap, helped Kieran and me settle," said Hibernian midfielder McGinn.

"I think it was clear to see by the time kick-off came we were relaxed and it helped us play to the best of our ability.

"First and foremost I was delighted to get the opportunity to play. It was rather unexpected but once I found out on Tuesday morning, I was focused on doing a job for the team and I'm delighted with how it went."

McGinn has been widely praised for his club form this season and he revealed Strachan simply told him to stick to the same principles ahead of his international bow.

John McGinn applauds the Hampden crowd
McGinn says he learned a lot from being involved in the senior squad

'Soaking everything in'

"He just said do what you've been doing, that's why you're here and don't be overawed with the players who are on the pitch, just go and do what you do and it was important that myself and Kieran did that and I think we showed it in spells," he added.

"I'm playing with good players at club level and I've come here and played with top players and that can only improve my game.

"I feel as if I'm getting better and better as the season's going on. I'm learning every day.

"I had a great opportunity this week to learn from good coaches and players and I'm just soaking everything in like a sponge and getting wee tips here and there and I think it's making me an all-round good player."

McGinn will hope to add to his first cap when Scotland play further friendlies against Italy and France just before Euro 2016.

But he is grounded enough to appreciate that climbing above Darren Fletcher, James McArthur and James Morrison in the central midfield pecking order will be no mean feat.

"I've got belief in myself but I'm realistic as well. There are top players missing, sitting at home ready for the games in May, so I've just got to concentrate on what I'm doing at my club and if I get the shout I'll be ready," he stressed.

Kieran Tierney
Teenager Tierney looked comfortable on his Scotland debut

Confident start

Tierney enjoyed a fine first half before being replaced by his Celtic team-mate Charlie Mulgrew.

"I don't think anyone could have predicted this is the way the season would have gone for me so far, so I just hope it can continue," the teenager told BBC Scotland.

"I'm delighted obviously to make my debut, but it was an important win for us and a good clean sheet again."

Like McGinn, Tierney looked unfazed by his appearance at Hampden.

"I was excited and surprised [to be selected] but I've been surprised every time I've been on the Celtic teamsheet," he added.

"It wasn't so much bad nerves. Everybody's the same obviously - your first cap, a bit of nerves before. But it's nothing negative. You need to make it positive.

"You've got everybody showing for the ball as well. Shaun Maloney was ahead of me - he's a great, experienced player and Grant Hanley was inside me, helping me along."

Tierney started the match confidently and put in a timely challenge early on to deny Denmark what looked like a certain equaliser, which he admitted helped him settle further.

"It was one v one and I've just got my toe in and the fans cheered, which gave me a bit of confidence for the rest of the half," he said.

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