Peru vs Scotland - Gemmill pleased to see Scotland youngsters given chance to impress

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2018 by PA

Peru vs Scotland - Gemmill pleased to see Scotland youngsters given chance to impress

Scotland Under-21s head coach Scot Gemmill has urged his promoted players to seize their opportunity on the tour of the Americas.

Gemmill has seen the likes of Scott McKenna, Oli McBurnie, Lewis Morgan and Chris Cadden called up from his ranks to join the full squad since Alex McLeish took over.

Nine players could make their debuts during games against Peru and Mexico after McLeish suffered six withdrawals from an already under-strength pool.

But Gemmill feels one man’s unavailability could be the launchpad for another’s long international career.

The former Scotland midfielder said: “If you trace it back there’s a lot of examples of these games at the end of the season where, for different reasons, the established players aren’t able to play and the next ones get an opportunity.

“I can remember back in the mid-90s, players like Paul Lambert and Craig Burley going to Japan and making their debuts at the end of the season.

“If you did a bit of research they were probably there because established first-team players weren’t available.

“Historically you will see that these games do give an opportunity to young players to make that step into the full squad and then it’s down to them to take that chance.”

Motherwell midfielder Cadden and recent Celtic signing Morgan are sampling their first taste of full international football.

“It’s really exciting to see,” Gemmill said. “For every player, they did everything right and put themselves in a position where they wait to be selected and, once you get that opportunity then you have to really grab it and take the responsibility and show that you can be trusted to play.

“I use that word a lot, it’s down to trust. A manager has to be able to trust a player to play, especially when it comes to the qualification games.”

Their opponents on Tuesday, Peru, will leave South America following this fixture, taking in further friendlies against Saudi Arabia – in Switzerland – and Sweden before arriving at the World Cup.

In Russia they will meet Denmark, France and Australia.

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said at his press conference, in quotes tweeted by the @SeleccionPeru account: “Scotland will be tough. They are going through a period of change.

“But we’re going to give them a good match because we want to say goodbye in the best way.

“It’s our time, we are going to Russia to compete.”

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