City loanee 'buzzing' for return to action with Scotland
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Billy Gilmour is ‘buzzing’ to be back with the Scotland squad after a frustrating spell on the fringes at Norwich City.
The Chelsea loanee didn’t come off the bench in any of the last six games of Daniel Farke’s reign, having started four of the first five matches of the Premier League season.
Like all of the City players, the 20-year-old will be eagerly awaiting news of his new head coach at club level but first up is a game in Moldova on Friday (5pm UK time) in which a win will seal a play-off place in World Cup qualification.
While his Canaries loan is yet to kick into gear, Gilmour has started each of Scotland’s last five matches, with four successive wins giving Steve Clarke’s squad a chance of heading to Qatar 2022.
“Buzzing to be back, with the training camp over here, it’s nice, the weather is nice,” he said, speaking from the Scots’ base in Spain. “It’s good to come over here and then of course looking forward to the games coming up.”
The youngster continued: “I love coming away with the Scotland team, all good boys, all want to do well for our country and for me to get an opportunity to keep playing, I buzz off it, of course.
“I want to do well and play as many games as possible and help to get to the tournaments.
“These games coming up are massive, we need to make sure we get results.”
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The 3-2 win over Israel at Hampden Park last month was the crucial win, snatched by an injury-time goal from Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay.
Gilmour had an injury scare and had to be taken off during injury-time but recovered to play all of a 1-0 win in the Faroe Islands three days later.
“I hadn’t played in a while, played that full game and I did that knee slide – and I thought someone had shot me,” he said with a laugh, referring to the wild celebrations of the late winner.
“I felt my hamstrings go and if you actually look back at it, I stand up and fall back on Cal (McGregor) and thought ‘oh no, I’m done’.
“The boss is just looking at me and I was like, yeah, I’m done, I can’t run any more.
“They were helping me stretch and KT (Kieran Tierney) was winding me up saying ‘you can’t be cramping up, you’re young!’.
“I cramped up but what a night it was.”
After impressing during his eight international caps, Gilmour is seen as a major part of the future for Scotland, but the midfielder is learning to live with the pressure.
“Of course there is going to be expectations on you because you are at such a big club like Chelsea but I’m just kind of taking it in my stride,” he added, speaking in a video on the Scottish Football Association’s Twitter feed.
“I’m going out on the pitch, enjoying my football and putting in the best performance that I can.
“Especially with the people around me, like Andy Robertson, John McGinn, Cal (McGregor) - top players at top clubs, who also have expectations.
“So as a team we are expected to do well.”
Canaries team-mate Kenny McLean is also in Steve Clarke's squad but Grant Hanley had to pull out due to the groin injury which caused him to miss the 2-1 win at Brentford on Saturday.