Skip to main content

Declan Gallagher now ready for ‘step up’ with Scotland

Declan Gallagher insists he is now up to speed with international football and hopes to make his Scotland debut soon.

The Motherwell defender was called up by Steve Clarke for the first time ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino in October but never made it onto the pitch.

The 28-year-old kept his place in the squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Cyprus and Kazakhstan and, after being acclimatised to the Scotland camp, he is ready to show his talents.

“International football is another step up and it’s a step I’m looking forward to,” said Gallagher.

“The first time I was called up I got caught off guard with the pace of it a little bit.

“Obviously you get the first-time nerves going in, not knowing what’s going to happen and what you have to do, how the routine is and stuff like that.

“But I have seen it now and now it is time to go in there and impress that bit more.

“I have a wee feel for it. I am going in there fully expecting to be right at it from the start.

“Every footballer wants game time but, at the end of the day, the manager makes the decisions, and I was just happy to be involved in the squad.

“So, obviously disappointing not to play, but it’s about the team.”

Scotland will use the final Euro 2020 qualifiers as preparation for the Nations League play-off in March which offers another route to next summer’s finals

With Clarke yet to decide on a regular centre-half pairing, not helped by injuries such as the slight groin tear which ruled out Leeds captain Liam Cooper on Monday, Gallagher is hoping to make his mark.

The former Livingston and Dundee player said: “There have been a few injuries which is why I got my first call-up .

“Now I have got a second call-up, hopefully I will push myself in with the games coming up in March.

“I have to try to impress in training and hopefully be a part of that as well.”

Gallagher will have to quickly shrug off the effects of the 2-0 defeat by Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership at Parkhead on Sunday.

He said: “They have quality all over the pitch. It is hard to go and get a result there.

“Obviously I will still be hurting but I need to get it out of the head and concentrate on international football.”