The Herald on Sunday

O’Donnell happy to repay manager


STEPHEN O’DONNELL was delighted to repay the faith of his manager and team- mates with his Wembley display as he opened up on t he effects of criticism.

The wing-back was the subject of much of the backlash after Scotland’s opening Euro 2020 defeat by the Czech Republic. But he produced a superb display to nullify the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish and came closest to breaking the stalemate against England when his volley was brilliantl­y saved by Jordan Pickford.

The Motherwell player was well aware of a clamour on social media for him to be dropped in favour of 19-year-old Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson, but manager Steve Clarke was rewarded for keeping faith in his former Kilmarnock player.

“I think what’s frustratin­g, in society now you see everything, you catch it and it’s hard to get away from it,” O’Donnell told BBC Scotland. “It makes a massive difference when you’ve got a manager who believes in you. He constantly, constantly comes under attack for selecting me.

“Could I have done better against the Czech Republic? Yeah. Could the team have done better? Yeah. But we still had a lot of chances.

“I’m getting praise now but that will quickly change against Croatia.

“It means a lot to me that the team are all up to me after the game. They know the stick I receive and I appreciate the support they give me. Andy Robertson especially with the words he said.

“It’s tough. At 29 you think it’s easy but this is all new to all of us, and I’m just glad I was able to repay, most importantl­y, the manager.”

 ??  ?? Stephen O’Donnell had a fine game against England
Stephen O’Donnell had a fine game against England

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