John McGinn has Scotland future while at Hibs - Gordon Strachan

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
John McGinn made his Scotland debut against Denmark in March
John McGinn made his Scotland debut against Denmark in March
Italy v Scotland
Date: Sunday, 29 May Venue: Ta'Qali Stadium, Malta Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Gordon Strachan says there is no need for John McGinn to leave Hibernian to become a Scotland regular.

The national team boss has often spoken of the benefits of having players at the highest possible level.

But although McGinn, 21, faces another season in the Championship, Strachan says continued improvement there will ensure his place in the squad.

"I think John should concentrate on getting to a higher level with Hibs," Strachan told BBC Scotland.

"Hibs were the club who put their trust in him. Alan Stubbs went to the chairman and said 'this kid's good for us, we want him'.

"So I think he should be concentrating on getting Hibs back because I've shown you don't have to be playing in the Premier League in England or the Premiership in Scotland to get a game."

Progress to be made

McGinn could win his second cap against Italy in Malta on Sunday, having impressed on his debut against Denmark in March.

"We watched the Denmark game and thought 'we can call on John now, if needed'," Strachan explained. "It's up to him to make that position his own. If we can get another few like that, that's great.

"John made his debut and we were very pleased with what we saw but then we looked at it again and said to John 'think about this when you're there the next time' so there's a lot of progress to be made there."

John McGinn ended the season as a Scottish Cup winner with Hibs
McGinn (right) ended the season as a Scottish Cup winner with Hibs

And Strachan admits it was McGinn's attitude as much as his ability that convinced him to give him his first cap.

"John was picked by me coming to watch training," he said. "I knew how he could play - I was just watching his behaviour at training. So there's all sorts of ways you can get picked."

Partnerships in the team

The squad for the friendlies against Italy and France includes more uncapped or inexperienced players than usual because of the unavailability of several regulars, but Strachan will not experiment at the cost of weakening his side.

"Of course I would like to see how Barrie McKay would fare in a Scotland jersey," he said. "But then when they get here you see how well Olly Burke's doing, how well Stephen Kingsley's doing and you think 'I can't play them all at the same time'.

"I think that would be really unfair on them. You've got to watch with young players. A couple of times , I've put people in too early, which has affected them longer term.

"Also when you're picking the team, usually there's partnerships and you don't want that to be two brand new players, no matter who you're playing. But if you're playing France and Italy you need people beside you where you can say 'I'm glad he's beside me'."

Top Stories