Edinburgh Evening News

Celtic star has Shanks’ back in tonight’s game


Lawrence Shankland has been branded as an excellent player by Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston ahead of Scotland's final March friendly with Northern Ireland this evening.

The striker started for his national side away in the Netherland­s on Friday night, as a bruising 4-0 defeat was inflicted upon Steve Clarke's side.

He had a looping header miss the target in the first half and cracked the bar after half-time, with a defensive Dutch mishap providing him a big opening.

Quite naturally, debate is raging over who will start for Scotland at Euro 2024 this summer. The Hearts forward's form in Gorgie has catapulted him into the reckoning, while Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes are also vying for a chance to start the opener against hosts Germany.

However, Adams has only scored ten goals in 30 matches in the Championsh­ip this season, while Dykes has four in 34 matches.

Shankland has 20 goals in 30 Scottish Premiershi­p encounters.

Ralston has reflected on the defeat to the Netherland­s and what is to come in the game ahead, with his thoughts on Shankland clear. The Celtic star said: "Lawrence is a top-quality striker. He'll be disappoint­ed

[in the chance he struck off the bar against the Netherland­s] – I think it took a slight bobble.

"He finishes those all the time, but he did well and he should be proud of himself.

"I felt for the majority of the game we did really well – as a squad we felt that [we did].

"Had we taken our opportunit­ies we would have been in a better place in the game.

"But we know as a squad what our standards are, and when the goals go in it's not to let that slip, which we were disappoint­ed with.

"But it's important we bounce back against Northern Ireland. We demand of each other high standards, but we'll analyse the game and where we went wrong and put it right."

 ?? ?? Anthony Ralston appears dejected during the Netherland­s game
Anthony Ralston appears dejected during the Netherland­s game
 ?? ?? Lawrence Shankland gets down to training at Lesser Hampden
Lawrence Shankland gets down to training at Lesser Hampden

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