Scotland uncertainty lingers over Craig Gordon as Hearts keeper discusses son's overdue arrival

Craig Gordon had feared he might have to miss Scotland’s midweek match with Ukraine as the anticipated arrival of his second son threatened to keep him away.

Craig Gordon was present at training as Scotland prepare to face Republic of Ireland.
Craig Gordon was present at training as Scotland prepare to face Republic of Ireland.

In the end, the baby decided to make him and his partner Summer wait, allowing the Hearts keeper to rejoin the group in plenty time for the Hampden victory.

As things panned out Gordon probably wouldn’t have been too badly missed if he had been waylaid, such was his inactivity on a night when Scotland dominated their Nations League contest.

“When I came into the dressing room [after the match], I said ‘well done, lads, that was a good watch’,” said Gordon. “I don’t think they had a shot on target. A couple of things flashed across the face of goal, there one that I punched clear and then one that I had to come out of the box for but apart from that, it was fairly quiet.

“I thought the players were absolutely fantastic. We were just chatting about that when we were going round clapping the fans. I said ‘that one’s right up there in terms of performance levels’. Goals as well. We needed a few set pieces but we pride ourselves on the work we do on them. And we probably should have scored a few more from open play. In terms of our general play, we got so much right.”

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Hours before kick-off there was the real chance that Gordon would be restricted to even more of a spectating role, as his new son looked to make his grand entrance.

Already a week overdue, the wee one gave his waiting dad a reprieve, allowing Gordon to get back to Glasgow a few hours before kick-off and take his place in the starting lineup.

“If things had progressed, maybe I wouldn’t have [made it]. I’ll need to thank him when he eventually comes for hanging off just a little bit longer.

“I went back through this morning but everything kind of stalled a little bit so I was OK to come back. I kept the management team updated on what was going on. I was relatively calm about it. It was fine to come back through and I was back through [in Glasgow] by half three, four o’clock with the rest of the boys.”

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The uncertainty over the birth of Gordon’s fourth child – he already has two daughters and a son – has lingered ahead of Saturday’s Republic of Ireland head-to-head but Gordon says that the team cannot afford to be distracted as they look to build on their midweek performance and result.

“There’s no point doing it for one game. We’ve got three games here and we need to keep that up. We want to keep going, get as many points as we can and try to top the group. As far as we’re concerned, it’s on to the next one. We have to give it the best we can.

“We know we’ve got a good squad. We see it everyday in training. Everybody loves joining up and playing at that intensity, at that level, in training. We have to keep that up now, that level and speed we played at [against Ukraine]. If we can do that then it is very difficult for any team to live with us.”