By Ronnie Esplin, PA
John McGinn wants this summer’s European Championships to mark the start of a run of tournament appearances for Scotland.
The Aston Villa midfielder scored a brace in the Scots’ 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over the Faroe Islands at Hampden Park on Wednesday night which took Steve Clarke’s side into second place in Group F behind flawless Denmark with five points from nine.
It was the last competitive game before the delayed 2020 Euros where Scotland will face Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden Park, with a trip to Wembley to play England in between.
It is the first major finals Scotland have qualified for since the 1998 World Cup in France but, while excited by the prospect, McGinn is looking to make it a habit.
— Andy Robertson (@andrewrobertso5) March 31, 2021
“The excitement is a good thing but the manager stresses that we don’t want it to be a one-off,” he said.
“We have the quality to get to Qatar in 2022, and get to Euro 2024.
“The manager was stressing that we don’t want to be one tournament wonders and we all share the same belief.
“On Wednesday night we showed in spells what we could do, we have a lot of top quality players on the pitch.
“When the manager came in we just wanted to give the country a team to be proud of, we are not quite there yet but we are certainly building towards it.”
McGinn took his international goal tally to 10 in 32 appearances with a first-half strike and a second-half header while Southampton striker Che Adams got his first Scotland goal and a Ryan Fraser header capped a good night’s work.
The former St Mirren and Hibernian player described his achievement as “surreal” but after another game played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions McGinn is hoping to see some fans at the Euros.
He said: “It is exciting, it is exciting for everybody.
— Kieran Tierney (@kierantierney1) March 31, 2021
“I think there has been anticipation building, we had to be professional and focus on these three World Cup qualifiers but it has been tough, we all have our eyes on something we have dreamed about for a long time, not only for us as players but as supporters, everyone involved.
“We are just keeping everything crossed that things can develop, the vaccine can keep charging on and we can get some supporters in.
“I know a lot of Scotland fans who travel everywhere and have experienced so much disappointment and so many near misses so it is more for them and for us as well.
“Everyone wants it but we need to be realistic and realise that it is a global pandemic which we didn’t expect to be living through.
“Common sense will prevail in the end but we are just hoping and keeping everything crossed.”