What Hibs defender Paul McGinn said after making his Scotland debut as he reveals Steve Clarke message

Hibs right-back Paul McGinn admitted his Scotland debut couldn’t have come at a nervier time – but insisted it was a proud moment to win his first cap alongside brother John.
Paul McGinn speaks to the Scotland media team after making his international debutPaul McGinn speaks to the Scotland media team after making his international debut
Paul McGinn speaks to the Scotland media team after making his international debut

Asked about making his first appearance for the his country the Easter Road vice-captain laughed: “Straight in at the deep end I think! It was a tense affair but we got over the line and I thought the boys deserved it on chances.”

Revealing that his instructions from national team boss Steve Clarke were to “enjoy it”, McGinn added: “He told me stuff like tuck in, all the usual, but mostly just to enjoy it.

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"I think I’m enjoying it more now that it’s finished but it’s just a proud moment for me.”

Scotland endured a nervy end to the match after taking a first-half lead courtesy of Lyndon Dykes’ penalty, with McGinn helping the defence stand firm for the final 15 minutes after replacing Stephen O’Donnell.

He said: “Look, Austria are a top team still; maybe not in the greatest of form right now but you need to come here and play well to win and they still put us under a lot of pressure.

"Maybe a second goal would have killed it but we didn’t quite get it."

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McGinn played alongside national team captain Andy Robertson during their formative years in the game and he spoke of things coming full circle as they linked up once again.

"I’m immensely proud. I’ve been on a similar journey to Andy Robertson from the bottom; we both played at Queen's Park together so it’s nice that the next time we end up playing together is in a Scotland jersey,” he added.

Asked the inevitable question about playing alongside his younger sibling the middle McGinn brother took a sly aim at a wayward effort from the Aston Villa man before finishing his comments with a dig at elder brother Stephen, who spent last season at Easter Road in a player-coach role.

"It was also good playing alongside John although it would have been nice if he’d put that one in the top corner, but I’m sure my mum and dad will be proud and there’s still time left yet for Stephen!”

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