Declan Gallagher interview: Israel play-off will be different from Nations clash

Motherwell defender Declan Gallagher doesn’t believe too much can be read into Scotland’s recent draw with Israel ahead of next month’s play-off rematch.
Declan Gallagher training with Scotland.Declan Gallagher training with Scotland.
Declan Gallagher training with Scotland.

Gallagher was on the bench as the sides fought out a 1-1 draw in a Nations League encounter at Hampden.

They meet again at the National Stadium on October 8 with a Euro 2020 play-off final place at stake - but the Fir Park captain says that will be a whole new ball game.

He said: “You maybe think ‘do you go out with a full-strength team or maybe give away some things’ but at the end of the day it’s football and anything can happen so I don’t think anything which happened in that game will have any effect on the next one.

“You have to take each game as it comes and the 1-1 game is going to be completely different to this play-off game. You can be sure of that and we’ll be ready.

“That’s us five unbeaten now. A lot of people can say what they want but there’s no such thing as an easy fixture in the international game.

“There’s expectations but the main things is we get a squad together and get the victories and a familiar feeling of winning, and not getting beaten.

“That’s what Steve Clarke’s trying to bring back, that winning mentality.”

The upcoming Israel game is Scotland’s biggest for many years and Gallagher would love to be involved.

He said: ““When you go away on international duty and see the boys that play in the Premier League in England, you just see how well organised everything is and you love it.

“The training’s such high tempo and you try to come back to your own club and set those standards and hopefully it rubs off. The more people you’ve got in international squads the better.

“We’ve got the likes of Trevor Carson and Steven O’Donnell and Allan Campbell and Barry McGuire with the under-21s. You like to come back and try and breed that kind of football back into tour club, the intensity, the tempo they play at.

“I just need to keep doing well for Motherwell and hopefully get the call-up again. There’s obviously no guarantees I’ll be in the squad but it’s something I want to be a part of for my own personal pride. I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I get the call.”