Robert Snodgrass targets Euro qualifiers return

Robert Snodgrass. Picture: TSPL

Robert Snodgrass. Picture: TSPL

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SCOTLAND forward Robert Snodgrass is targeting September’s crucial clashes with Georgia and Germany for his Dark Blues comeback.

The Hull forward has missed the last six months of action after dislocating his knee cap on his Tigers debut last August.

He is now battling his way back to fitness but faces a long struggle before he can resume playing duties.

However, the 27-year-old has already circled the trip to Tbilisi on September 4, followed by the visit of Joachim Low’s world champions to Hampden three days later, for his international comeback.

The Euro 2016 qualifiers could prove vital as Gordon Strachan’s side aim to clinch a place at the finals in France and Snodgrass is determined to play his part.

The former Livingston, Leeds and Norwich winger said: “My aim is to try and get back for next season. It’s up to myself to try and do that.

“But I’d love to be involved with Scotland for the September games. That is a date I’ve got noted in the back of my head. But I can’t look too much at that because the first thing I need to do is get fit.

“Hopefully they are still in the hunt for qualification when I get back. The lads have done terrific and it’s great to watch.”

Glasgow-born Snodgrass has returned to his home city after Hull’s medical team decided it would do the 15-cap forward good to escape the day-to-day drudgery of rehab work at their East Riding training base.

But he has not been allowed to slack off and has been working with Scotland chief physio Jim Fallon at Hampden.

His month-long stay has allowed him to catch up with family and even visit his old school St Anne’s Primary in the east end of the city, where he met current pupils as part of the Tesco Bank Football Challenge.

It was in the concrete playground that Snodgrass took his first steps towards pulling on a Dark Blue jersey and he admits the same joy he experienced as a youngster is the driving force behind his bid to return to action.

“A lot of footballers lose that enjoyment for the game,” explained Snodgrass. “I’ve seen a lot of footballers come out and say they don’t like it any more.

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“But the day I lose that enjoyment I will chuck it. I won’t play on because I have loved it ever since I first started in that playground.

“Nothing is sweeter than when you cross that white line. It’s the best feeling in the world.

“Through this rehab I can’t look too far ahead. This has been the hardest task of my life, not having football there.

“Sometimes the game takes away the lows from other parts of life. It brings that feistiness, that edge and the highs as well.

“But I’m just trying to take it one day at a time, be the best person I can be and to work hard because every day has different challenges.

“I’m halfway there. I’m at the strengthening stage and just trying to get the muscles around the knee a bit bigger.”

He added: “I’m up here for a change of scenery. It’s clever from the physios down at Hull.

“They know down there that there is four physios between 20-odd players. But up here I’m working one-to-one. I’m working really hard, morning and afternoon.

“It’s quite intense and I’m starting to feel like an athlete again.

“And it also feels great to be back up here. Once the rehab stops you still have the mental thing where you are thinking about things. But being around family and friends is superb.”

Snodgrass knows it will be harder than ever to fight back into Strachan’s squad.

The national team are resurgent under the ex-Celtic boss - and Snodgrass has backed Parkhead new boys Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong to give the side another boost.

He said: “There is no doubt these guys can make an impact for Scotland. There is great talent there.

“The manager is very clever, he’s had them in before to give them a taste of it and to ask them ‘How much do you want this?’.

“He will be keeping a close eye on them and will want to push them because the more talent we have like that for Scotland, the better.”

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