Hibs star John McGinn reveals his wish to captain Scotland

John McGinn hopes to add to his five Scotland caps
John McGinn hopes to add to his five Scotland caps
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Hibs midfielder John McGinn has revealed he dreams of captaining Scotland – even if it is only for ten minutes.

McGinn has been widely touted as the natural successor to Scott Brown in the middle of the park following the Celtic skipper’s announcement he is stepping down from international football.

Brown’s decision has left Alex McLeish to name a replacement as national captain with the new Scotland head coach set to announce who will lead his team out in tomorrow night’s friendly against Costa Rica at Hampden later today.

McGinn has already captained Scotland at Under-21 level and he hopes one day to skipper the full side.

The 23-year-old said: “It’s something you dream about when out playing in the back garden. It’s only normal, something you aim for and sometimes it happens.

“You always hope but the main thing is being involved for your country – that’s amazing in itself. If one day I managed to get it, even for ten minutes if the captain was substituted, I’d be happy.”

McGinn is hoping to win his sixth cap against the Central American country almost two years since enjoying a man-of-the-match performance against Denmark as he made his Scotland debut. He knows tomorrow night’s game and Tuesday’s match against Hungary in Budapest – along with the controversial end-of-season tour to face Mexico and Peru – could afford players like him the chance to force their way into McLeish’s long-term plans.

Joking that as a boy from Clydebank he used to spend his summer holidays in Arbroath, McGinn told the Official Scotland Podcast: “I’ve never played against a South American team or been there so I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s a massive privilege to play for Scotland whenever called upon – whether it’s in January or June. I’m sure a lot of the boys will be raring to go. It’s an opportunity maybe for guys that are not playing Champions League football and have a bit more time in the summer to try to hold on to a jersey – that’s what we will be looking to do.”

Having won his first cap despite Hibs then being in the Championship, McGinn believes the fact the Easter Road side are now back in the top flight and challenging for second place has helped his cause no end.

He said: “I remember the team getting announced that morning and the shock that I was playing but it was a good chance for the manager to experiment. Things went all right that night. I think Christian Eriksen had the handbrake on which helped me and I’ve managed to stay in the majority of squads since.

“I’m aware midfield is a very strong area for Scotland so I have to try to keep impressing and I feel I have to take every chance I get. I think I have got better [since the Denmark game] and it’s helped me that there’s been a lot of success at club level.

“We are moving on so much as a club and playing in bigger games you learn a lot from that so it’s been great for me playing a lot of games for Hibs and to have kept developing.”