Close sidebar

Alex Ferguson admits Scottish tears and praises impact of Scott McTominay

Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson wasn’t the only Scotland supporter who was brought to tears by Ryan Christie’s unforgettable interview after securing a place in the Euros this summer.

With 50 days to go until the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament takes place, Alex Ferguson relived the emotions he experienced watching Scotland’s dramatic play-off victory over Serbia last November.

A penalty shootout was required to secure Scotland a place at their first major tournament since 1998 and Ferguson praised Steve Clarke’s side for holding their nerve and getting through the penalty shootout, with David Marshall saving Aleksandar Mitrovic’s decisive spot-kick.

“When Serbia scored in the last minute I thought ‘oh Christ Almighty, extra-time, no chance’. But they saw it through and dug their heels in,” Ferguson said in an interview.

“But David Marshall’s save, and he didn’t even know whether they had qualified or not, and everyone is jumping on top of him.

“And then the Ryan Christie interview. Christ, I was crying when I saw him crying. It was fantastic. You talk about a boost to the country – it was fantastic.

“I’m sure half the country would have watched that night. We will always remember Davie Marshall’s reaction and Ryan Christie’s interview.

“These are special moments that encapsulate exactly what it meant to everyone. Ryan Christie was crying for Scotland, for every Scottish fan.

“So it resonates because of the love Scotland has for football. It was amazing, really amazing.”

Scotland are set to face England, as well as Croatia and the Czech Republic, in Group D of the European Championship and Ferguson has been impressed with what Clarke has been able to accomplish since taking the national team over in 2019.

Steve Clarke

Alex Ferguson lauded a number of members of Clarke’s Scotland team, reserving special praise for Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, who Fergie compared to Red Devils and Scotland legend Darren Fletcher.

“The thing that impresses me about Steve is that he is unflappable,” Ferguson continued.

“It doesn’t matter whether the team is doing well or doing badly, his demeanour does not change. He is composed, he is calm, and I think that transmits to the team. There is no panic.

“They have been playing quite well. I think it’s the old story, the scoring of goals. Their performance level has been very good, I have been impressed. I think Steve’s done a really good job.

“I look at the midfield players and I think they are as good as anyone, players playing in England. And (Kieran) Tierney has been fantastic at Arsenal, absolutely fantastic! (Andy) Robertson the last two years at Liverpool has been unbelievable.

“And (Scott) McTominay is now emerging as one of Man United’s big players. When you watch Man United pick their team for a big game, McTominay is in it. Good character, great trainer, I know a little bit about the boy.

Scott McTominay

“I signed him when he was seven or eight. He was actually a centre-forward as a kid. He has sprouted, a little bit like Darren (Fletcher) when he first came.

“McTominay is a similar type as Darren, long, lanky, good winner of the ball, good turn of pace going forward, great attitude to the game. It’s really rewarding for me to see a Scott coming through.

“And (John) McGinn coming through at Aston Villa has been fantastic. (Kenny) McLean at Norwich has had a great season.

“So I’m optimistic. The important thing about the home games is, I know it’s only 12,000 people, but 12,000 at Hampden when they get going is like 50,000 at Wembley. We can create the atmosphere all right.”

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , ,