AN UNWANTED early-season rest has left Kevin McHattie desperate to get back into action with the Scotland Under-21s tomorrow night when they play the Netherlands.
The Hearts defender had to sit out his team’s defeat by Inverness at the weekend after being red-carded a week earlier against Aberdeen, but hopes to bounce back in the UEFA Under-21 Championship match in Nijmegen, before reclaiming what has become his regular place in his club side.
“I had a break last week with being suspended,” McHattie said. “That came in good timing for this, but obviously it was disappointing to get suspended.
“Everyone’s got to be spot on in this qualifier. The Dutch are a great team. They pass the ball well, get forward, and are good at the back, so we’ve got to try and break them down.”
McHattie was a member of the Scotland Under-21 team that was comprehensively dismantled by England in their last outing, a friendly at Bramall Lane in Sheffield which Billy Stark’s side lost 6-0.
He admitted morale had been an issue after such a result, but also suggested that valuable lessons had been learned.
“We’ve just got to keep our heads high and work hard. That’s all we can do. They were different class – just physically unbelievable.
“Some things that went wrong you can sort, but their technical ability was so good. Their experience is just different class.
“You’ve just got to learn from your mistakes. That’s all I do. Just got to focus and learn from there.
“We watched some clips of the England match – the mistakes– and we talked about getting behind the ball, and pressing where we should press. But we’ve not watched the whole game.
“The Dutch are a good team. But we did well in the last qualifier and it was good to get a result on the night.
“Obviously the last game against England was a bit disappointing, so we’ve got a lot of making up to do.
“I would take a point over there.
“They’ve got a great team, so we’ll see what we can do.”