Hibs star Ryan McGivern today revealed he is desperate to exorcise the ghost of his first and only game at Hampden after a red card turned his international debut into a nightmare, writes DAVID HARDIE.
The Easter Road defender was a raw 18-year-old when he was handed a surprise call-up by then Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington for a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow.
But that night in August 2008 turned out to be one to forget as the Newry-born youngster was shown two yellow cards by Danish referee Nicolai Vollquartz for fouls on Scotland midfielder Scott Brown, resulting in an early bath after just 56 minutes.
Now the on-loan Manchester City star has his fingers crossed Hibs William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against First Division Falkirk on April 13 will give him a day to remember.
Recalling how, incredibly, facing Scotland came a full two months before he played his first senior match – he was loaned out by City to Morecambe – McGivern said: “I’d played youth and reserve team football then against Scotland.
“It was a huge surprise and while it was a great experience it turned out to be one to forget. I thought the second card was a bit harsh, but it was a big learning curve for me.
“Afterwards, Nigel Worthington just told me I’d done well, not to feel too down and to make sure I learned from it. It has stood me in good stead and I’ve done that. As a player you have to learn from your mistakes.
“I won’t forget my last game at Hampden for obvious reasons, but now I am looking forward to going back there with Hibs next month and, hopefully, again in May. But for the time being my full attention is on making sure we get that top six finish.”