STEVE CLARKE hailed Celtic midfielder David Turnbull who made his Scotland international debut in the 2-2 pre-Euro Finals warm-up stalemate with Holland in Faro, Portugal last night.

The Hoops youngster turned in an impressive performance as the unlucky Scots had victory nicked from them in the fading moments when Memphis Depay rifled a dodgy free-kick past the stranded Craig Gordon for his second equaliser.

Clarke must have thought his team were on their way to a stirring victory with goals from Jack Hendry and Kevin Nisbet before the blundering ref awarded a set-play on the edge of the box and Depay, who won the award, took full advantage of the match official’s error.

THREE CHEERS…Jack Hendry celebrates his first Scotland goal with Stuart Armstrong and David Turnbull.

The performance against a nation ranked 28 places above them will have given the Scots cause for optimism before they face the Czech Republic at Hampden in their competition opener on June 14.

Twenty-one-year-old Turnbull staked his claim for a place wehn the action gets underway in earnest and looked the part until he was taking off nine minutes from time to be replaced by another young debutant, Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour.

Clarke was full of praise for the Parkhead youngster’s performance and, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “David had a good debut. Lots of good things. One or two things that we can discuss and help him to improve as a player and within the team, but, listen, it was the boy’s first cap.

“He’s had a really good season and it’s nice for him to get the cap and to give that performance. There were many good performances, so it’s important that we don’t just focus on the new guys in the squad because the senior players are very important for us, as well.”

WALLOP…David Turnbull thumps in a late drive that was just off target.

Turnbull added: “It’s obviously a great achievement to finally get it under my belt. I know it’s a friendly, but to do it against such a big team – and play a good part – I really enjoyed it.

“It’s just about the tempo and moving the ball quicker. If you make a mistake on the ball, you’re more or less punished most of the time, but I tried to do my best and I felt I did that.

“We conceded a goal from a great free-kick in the end and there’s not much you can do about that. I’m not sure if it was a foul or not, but I felt we were hard done by.”

Scotland will now return to the training camp in Spain ahead of the final warm-up match against Luxembourg on Sunday.




About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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