Ia­covitti in­spired by Stra­chan’s de­ci­sion to pro­mote

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL - MARK WALKER

THE Scot­land Un­der-19s de­fender Alex Ia­covitti reck­ons the rise of Not­ting­ham For­est team-mate Oliver Burke can pro­vide in­spi­ra­tion for him and the rest of Scot Gem­mill’s team.

The young Scots face Bul­garia today in Croa­tia in the fi­nal game of their Euro Elite Round af­ter two losses to Bel­gium and the hosts.

Gem­mill’s side was con­sid­er­ably weak­ened by the pro­mo­tion of Burke and the Celtic left back Kieran Tier­ney straight into the first-team squad for to­mor­row’s friendly with Den­mark.

Ia­covitti reck­ons Burke’s progress proves there is a path for pro­mo­tion un­der Gor­don Stra­chan.

He said: “Oli’s a great player. Ev­ery­one who has played along­side him would say that. He’s had a good run of games at For­est, done well and scored a few goals. He’s some­one who has taken his chance. He’s fly­ing at the mo­ment.

“It shows what can be achieved. Hope­fully I’ll get my chance and find my­self do­ing what Oli’s done, said Ia­covitti. “If I get my chance at For­est you never know where that could take you, maybe into the Scot­land squad.

“I’ve been do­ing well and I’m cap­tain of the For­est Un­der-21s. I’m train­ing with the first team now, though it was dis­ap­point­ing to see the gaffer, Dougie Freed­man, go. You have to take it on the chin and try to fin­ish the sea­son strongly.

“He was good for me. He was great for the youth boys. He’d speak to us af­ter train­ing and you could get any­thing you wanted off your chest with him. He’s gone now and we have to move on but I have a lot of re­spect for him. Ev­ery time a new gaffer’s come in it’s not gone their way, es­pe­cially with in­juries. Hope­fully who­ever comes in does a good job and we can get back into the Premier League.

“If I get my chance at For­est you never know where that could take you, maybe into the Scot­land squad.”

But Ia­covitti re­fused to blame the ab­sence of Burke and Tier­ney for the Scots’ poor dis­play in the Balkans.

He pointed out: “Oli and Kieran are great play­ers, but I’m not sure we can say that they alone would have made all the dif­fer­ence or changed the game. We have a good team and we had a game-plan that we wanted to try and ex­e­cute. All of the boys are gut­ted. It comes down to key mo­ments. We have to go into the Bul­garia game now and try to fin­ish as strongly as we can.”

TIER­NEY: Call up to se­nior team shows their is chance to progress

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