John McGinn: Managers can decide my Hibs-Scotland involvement

John McGinn hopes to be involved in Scotland's match with Slovenia on Sunday. Pic: SNS
John McGinn hopes to be involved in Scotland's match with Slovenia on Sunday. Pic: SNS
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Hibs midfielder John McGinn insists his full focus this week is on trying to force his way into contention for Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on Sunday.

As things stand, the 22-year-old is due to miss his club’s crunch Championship clash with Falkirk on Saturday after being called up to the national squad.

McGinn is joined by the Mars Just Play competition winner Graeme Richardson at Oriam. Pic: SNS

McGinn is joined by the Mars Just Play competition winner Graeme Richardson at Oriam. Pic: SNS

With McGinn deemed more likely to feature in the Easter Road friendly against Canada on Wednesday than the match against Slovenia, Hibs manager Neil Lennon indicated last week that he hoped his Scotland counterpart Gordon Strachan might release the midfielder to face the Bairns on Saturday if he isn’t planning to utilise him on Sunday evening.

The former St Mirren player insists he will be staying out of any discussions to this effect and is willing to play in whichever matches Strachan and Lennon decide. However, his priority is ensuring he is involved in a Hampden showdown with the Slovenians which Scotland must win if they are to revive their fading World Cup hopes.

“I’m a Scotland player for the week and looking forward to the Canada game and, if I get the chance to show what I can do, then I want to stake a claim for the Slovenia game,” said McGinn. “I’ll let the managers [Strachan and Lennon] decide what will happen at the weekend, but I am more than happy to be in the squad. It’s not a conversation I’m going to have with the manager, that is for them to decide.

“I will just focus on my training and whatever happens, happens. I will always be willing to play in any game I am needed but, first and foremost the country is the most important thing and it is a massive game on Sunday. If I can help the squad at all, then I will be there. My mindset has to be to impress on Wednesday and give myself the best chance to be involved on Sunday.”

McGinn is hopeful that his friend and Hibs team-mate Jason Cummings will soon follow him into the Scotland set-up. The 21-year-old striker outlined his desire over the weekend to earn full international recognition. McGinn said: “Jason is a confident lad and he just needs to keep playing well and scoring goals, like he has been doing. He is fully aware of the quality we possess in the front area and he has plenty of time on his side.

“If he keeps playing the way he has been then I’m sure he will impress people but, for the time being, there is no-one really he could replace. I think if the manager called on him, he would be ready, but you can’t pick everyone and Jason knows that. He is a top player, a great team-mate and hopefully one day along the line he will be 
involved.”