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Callum McGregor says Scotland’s courageous 0-0 draw with England ranks among career highlights

Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor says keeping highly-tipped England at bay in Friday’s impressive 0-0 Euro 2020 draw ranks among the highlights of his career.

The Scots revived their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of a major finals for the first time courtesy of an excellent performance at Wembley, with Stephen O’Donnell and Lyndon Dykes coming close to a breakthrough for Steve Clarke’s men.

The result means Scotland are likely to be assured of progression to the last-16 if they defeat Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday, and Celtic’s McGregor is proud of the way his side acquitted themselves against one of the tournament favourites.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke at full time as they hold England 0-0.

McGregor said: “It’s right up there with one of the best nights ever in my career. The atmosphere before the game, with the national anthem, just gave everybody the energy and impetus to do well in the game.

“We are just so glad we matched the performance with what the fans gave us in the stadium. I thought they were first class. Overall it was a brilliant night.

“We had a gameplan. We knew where we wanted to leave them on the ball, keep the space in behind and keep the compactness in the team.

“I thought we did that, we limited them to few chances and we had a few chances as well.

“Overall the draw was probably the right result.”

McGregor felt the display was the perfect way to bounce back after Monday’s 2-0 loss to Czech Republic, adding: “I thought everybody to a man responded after Monday. We had the big build up, and then the balloon sort of burst with the performance and result.

“We were deflated for a few days, but I thought the boys answered every one of the critics emphatically.

“We knew when the game was finished we had to be in with a chance in the last game of the group, and we have achieved that objective.

“Now we have to take that feel-good factor and the energy from the performance into Tuesday.

“I think we have showed up pretty well in the last two games. We have had good chances and I thought we deserved goals in both games, we just need the break of the ball at the right times.

“We just have to accept that for what it is. Hopefully we can show good energy on Tuesday and we get a wee rub of the green.”

McGregor was among four players drafted into Clarke’s starting line-up for the trip to London, with Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour handed a first national team start in midfield.

Billy Gilmour on his first Scotland start.
Billy Gilmour on his first Scotland start.

McGregor was thrilled with the way the 20-year-old rose to the occasion, and he added: “He was excellent. For such a young kid to come into that environment, with the pressure and intensity of the game, I thought he was first class.

“As was everyone, I thought every single player was right at the top of their game. We knew we had to be.

“For young Billy, I’m super delighted for him. He’s a great kid and he came in and showed composure on the ball, awareness in the game and he’s tactically very good. He’s got a big future and it’s up to us to keep pushing him along.”

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