McGinn the centurion just wants to rack up the caps
THERE isn’t much John McGinn does these day which goes un-noticed but it would have escaped most that the recent win over Dundee was his 100th league game in Scottish football’s top flight.
Not bad for a player who last month turned 23 and spent two seasons in the Championship with Hibernian. They will do well to hang onto their prize asset beyond January.
And if McGinn does see out this campaign in Leith, even a well-run club such as his won’t be able to turn down the first decent offer in the summer – which should start at £2m – for a midfielder who if the voting began now would be one of the favourites for player of the year.
And while Scotland’s friendly with Holland last week won’t linger long in the memory, the performance of McGinn should have been noted to whoever comes in as manager.
Scott Brown won’t last forever, probably, and while there are plenty of good midfielders about, McGinn has that extra dig and naughtiness players need to succeed in the engine room of top class football.
McGinn’s attitude is spot-on as well, and the hope is the next manager makes this lad one of the key players for the 2020 European Championship campaign.
“The Holland game was an opportunity for me to show what I could do and, thankfully, I managed to,” said McGinn.
“I want to try and keep my position now and hold my own towards the start of the Euro 2020 campaign.
“There’s a lot of good midfielders all desperate to play for the country and all I can do when I get called up is prove that I deserve to be there.
“I’ve got to work harder than everyone else, stay focused, humble and be grateful to be in the squad alongside some great players. If called up, I’ll be honoured and look to do the same.”
The fact is, McGinn should have played, along with Callum McGregor, before Barry Bannan and Darren Fletcher. Indeed, given how well he’s performed over his five caps, it is one of the many wonders of the Gordon Strachan era he was not given more minutes. And the player himself respectively concurs. “When people were calling for me and Callum to get a chance in the last campaign I agreed with them,” said McGinn (inset). “But I respected the manager’s decision and had to be patient and work hard. You always have to get your head down and things fall into place. “Thankfully I got the opportunity against Holland and all I need to do now is focus on playing well for Hibs and hopefully get selected in the future. “I’ve got confidence in my ability. Hibs are confident in me. They let me go and play my football and Malky Mackay told me to carry that into Scotland. “
Simon Murray, meanwhile, is confident Hibs will be able to pick up where they left off’ when they host St Johnstone this weekend.
The Easter Road outfit are seeking a fifth consecutive victory after successes against Hearts, Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Dundee before the international break.
Murray said: “I’ve scored the three goals in the last three games, which has been great.
“But it’s good to get a break and rest up for a little bit, and I’m raring to go for the St Johnstone game.
“I’m just delighted I’m back in the team now and hopefully I’ll stay there.”