My dad means Well texts in Ham­p­den

Gal­lagher Snr had his own half-time notes for De­clan

Daily Record - - RECORD READERS - BY BY GOR­DON PARKS

DE­CLAN GAL­LAGHER ad­mits half-time coach­ing tips from his dad Pat dur­ing Scot­land’s win over the Czech Repub­lic have still to see the light of day.

But the Mother­well de­fender in­sists re­ceiv­ing text mes­sages from his old man on how to man-mark Matej Vy­dra as na­tional boss Steve Clarke was giv­ing his team-talk is one of the rea­sons why he’s emerged as an in­ter­na­tional starter.

It wouldn’t have been the done thing for the 29-year-old to whip out his mo­bile in the mid­dle of a crunch Na­tions League clash but he’s adamant that shows of pas­sion and sup­port from his fam­ily and in par­tic­u­lar his big­gest critic.

Af­ter rack­ing up a fifth cap on Wed­nes­day, Gal­lagher re­vealed his fa­ther took credit for his son’s stand-out sec­ond-half dis­play.

He said: “My dad has been a re­ally vo­cal in­flu­ence on my ca­reer. I lis­ten to what he says be­cause he watches my games like a hawk.

“If he tells me that I’ve had a de­cent game, that means I’ve had a worldie as he’s my big­gest critic. He’s on my back con­stantly.

“When I spoke to him af­ter the Czech Repub­lic game, he ac­tu­ally said, ‘Did you get my text at half-time? It looked like you did as you put it in af­ter that.’

“I replied, ‘ I haven’t even looked at my mes­sages yet!’ You can just imag­ine me say­ing to Steve Clarke dur­ing his half-time team-talk, ‘Hold on a minute gaffer, my dad’s texted to tell me how to deal with Vy­dra!’

“But he’s been great with me, as has my mum and wife. They’ve been with me in ev­ery part of this jour­ney.

“From the first call-up, they were in Rus­sia and then the whole fam­ily was in Cyprus for my first cap. It means ev­ery­thing to them, prob­a­bly even more than it does to me. I’m so grate­ful for their sup­port.”

It has been a me­te­oric rise from the Cham­pi­onship with Liv­ingston to a call-up from his coun­try and Gal­lagher ad­mits play­ing for Scot­land has fringe ben­e­fits.

He said: “It was my mum’s 50th in Septem­ber and I didn’t man­age to make the party.

“It was also my dad’s birth­day on the day af­ter the Is­rael game so I gave them both my top as a present. I told them to keep it, frame it or do what they want with it – no doubt my dad will throw it in the top of the cup­board with the rest of the strips or caps I gave him as a present.

“I gave them the Is­rael top and then I got the boys to sign the Czech top at the end of the trip there. I have the cap too so I will get them framed with the rest.”

Clarke’s show of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Gal­lagher’s com­posed and res­o­lute show­ing against the Czechs came in the shape of a cud­dle at full-time in front of the cam­eras and the Well stop­per in­sists it’s also down to a pre-match joke.

He said: “We were hav­ing a wee laugh dur­ing train­ing where I said I’d had four caps and was un­beaten in all of them. The man­ager said he hoped that con­tin­ued.

“As soon as we beat the Czechs he came up to me and said, ‘Five un­beaten… the record con­tin­ues.’ So it was a good wee bit of ban­ter. I’m just so happy he had the trust in me to play all three games.

“It’s just amaz­ing and the high­light of my ca­reer.”

Gal­lagher will aim to carry that feel-good fac­tor on in to to­day’s Premier­ship clash with St Mir­ren. He said: “It’s back down to earth but I want to keep that buzz and to bring it back to this squad.”

GAFFER’S DELIGHT Gal­lagher is hailed by Scots boss Clarke

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