Celtic playmaker Ryan Christie has been backed to put his red card misery behind him and shine for Scotland in their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino.
Christie was sent off for a high tackle on Livingston’s Scott Robinson as the Scottish champions lost 2-0 at the Tony Macaroni Stadium on Sunday. The 24-year-old, pictured, has subsequently deleted his Twitter account after receiving abuse in the aftermath of the incident.
But Scotland coach Steven Reid believes Christie will now be even more motivated to perform well for his country as they resume their Group I campaign in Moscow on Thursday before welcoming San Marino to Hampden on Sunday.
“Listen, it was rash from Ryan and probably the right decision,” said Reid. “But these setbacks happen and it’s about how you react to it, how you go again.
“I’m sure he wants to make it up to the team. The way he trained with us, I think it might give him an edge to go out there and do the business for us in these two games. It was a forward’s challenge from Ryan, if you like. Sometimes things happen in the heat of the moment.
“I was sent off five times in my own playing career, including on my debut for Blackburn I came on as a sub against Bolton and was sent off ten minutes later! You think you can win the ball but you are a second late. These days, you can’t get away with those challenges.”
Reid also expressed his sympathy for Christie’s Twitter woes and questioned the value of online engagement with some supporters for players. “I spoke to one of our staff about social media,” added Reid. “There is access from anybody. It was just taking off at the back end of my own career and I remember when we were in a relegation dogfight at West Brom, I had to take it off my phone.
“I didn’t really see any benefit to it. It’s great to interact but I now see more and more instances of abuse. After an incident like Ryan’s, you are going to come in for some online abuse. It’s just whether you can deal with that.
“Whether you need it or not, that’s another discussion.”