John McGinn: I may have to change my Hibs style when with Scotland

John McGinn admits he may have to change the way he plays domestically for Hibs when he is on the international stage for Scotland.

Sunday, 25th March 2018, 11:16 am
Updated Sunday, 25th March 2018, 9:58 pm
John McGinn won his sixth cap for Scotland against Costa Rica. Pic: SNS

The midfielder won his sixth cap for his country when he made an 82nd-minute appearance in the 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica on Friday night, but was penalised by German referee Tobias Stieler on more than once occasion during his brief cameo at Hampden.

Scotland did look more threatening when McGinn was introduced from the substitutes bench alongside Celtic’s midfield duo of Callum McGregor and Stuart Armstrong and the 23-year-old is hopeful he will make Alex McLeish’s starting XI against Hungary on Tuesday night in Budapest. However, he knows he may have to “tailor” his all-action style of play to suit international football.

“I was frustrated – you always want to play – and in that ten minutes I just wanted to make an impression,” said McGinn.

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“I did a couple of good things and a couple of not so good things.

“I gave away a few fouls and the manager did mention that to me at the end.

“Faddy [Scotland coach James McFadden] said to me before I went on just to go and play the way I play and try to not change, but I might have to tailor it a little bit — I don’t think they have backsides like mine in Germany.

“But a couple of those were not fouls, I was just trying to get in their faces and get a bit of urgency. That is just international football these days.

“It’s not the same as Scottish football where sometimes they will let that ride. It’s something I need to learn from. Opponents know how to get the fouls and it’s gone against me a couple of times. I will know better for

Tuesday night and the games coming up.”

After a disappointing first half on Friday, Scotland’s performance picked up markedly with the arrival of McGregor, Armstrong and McGinn in midfield. The Hibs talisman feels that the trio can provide a different option for McLeish in Budapest.

“Myself, Stu and Cal have played a few times together now and it just felt quite natural,” said McGinn. “We’ve a lot of energy and we try and get on the ball and make things happen.

“We are all different players. Cal picks a brilliant final ball, Stu is all energy and tidy on the ball — and I’m a bit more unorthodox but I feel as if I can influence the game.

“I tried to do that when I came on and I was a bit frustrated at the final whistle.

“At the end of the day it’s up to the manager, he wants to see what other options are out there and we respect that, it’s what friendlies are for.”

Regardless of what team McLeish fields tomorrow, McGinn believes Scotland’s progress under him will take time and that the Hungary friendly, plus further challenge matches against Peru and Mexico in the summer, will help shape the team’s look going into the competitive matches in the autumn.

“Everything has been new. These things take time and I think it’s important to play these games,” added McGinn in an interview with the Sun. “Previously we didn’t take the opportunity to play these friendlies.

“Over the past few seasons we have tried things that have not worked. We tried something different on Friday and he might try something different again on Tuesday.

“I think everyone will agree that it doesn’t matter how we get to an international tournament. We are going to do whatever it takes.”

• Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano was an unused substitute as Israel lost 2-1 at home in a friendly against Romania on Saturday.