My dad means Well texts in Hampden
Gallagher Snr had his own half-time notes for Declan
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