Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Blackburn’s Hyam raring to go after first call-up
JOHN Carver revealed Dominic Hyam is “itching” to get started after being called up to the Scotland squad for the first time.
The Blackburn defender was drafted in by Steve Clarke for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain at Hampden Park after Club Brugge defender Jack Hendry was forced to pull out with a quad issue.
Hyam, 27, who featured for the Scots at under-19 and under-21 level, was joined in the squad by Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston and Clarke’s assistant Carver revealed the former Coventry player is keen to get started on his senior international career.
“He (Hyam) is someone we have been keeping an eye on for a while,” said Carver, after the squad trained at Lesser Hampden.
“We know a lot about him. We know he has been involved with the Scotland under-21s so it wasn’t hard for Steve to call him up.
“He was there today, he did a little bit, he didn’t join in too much but you could see he was sitting there watching and thinking ‘what a place this is.’ The speed of play was incredible.
“I said to him afterwards ‘I bet you can’t wait to get involved in this’ and he is itching to go. He has fitted in straight away.
“You need a personality to play with the players we have got because since I have been here I have seen the standard and quality improve and he has added to that. I am sure he will handle it. He seems a confident lad so I am sure he will be a good fit for us.”
Explaining the late call-up of Hoops defender Ralston, Carver said: “We just wanted to make sure that if something happened when we were here that we had enough defenders because Anthony can play on the right and he can play on the left. He is multi-purpose.
“We know all about him, he has done it in the past. He has been a little bit unfortunate because he has not been a regular in the Celtic team but on the occasions he has played, and I have seen him quite a bit, he has done really well so it was wise to bring him into the group.”
Meanwhile, Carver described the training pitch at Oriam as a “safety hazard” and a “health risk” after Scotland moved their base to Lesser Hampden.
Oriam is Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus in Edinburgh, and has been the base for the squad since 2016.
However, Steve Clarke and his players are preparing for the upcoming 2024 European Championship qualifiers at Queen’s Park’s ground, which is next door to Hampden Park and is currently being upgraded for the Championship club.
Carver said: “With all due respect to Oriam, the surface was a safety hazard in my eyes. The pitch looked good on the eye. For some reason the surface would give way.”