The 20-year-old played 83 minutes of a 2-0 victory while Raya was on the bench for the visitors. The pair had conversations in the build up to the clash at Hampden Park with the defender having sensed confidence from his club team-mate.
“Myself and the keeper David Raya were talking about it in the lead-up to the game,” Hickey said. “I can’t wait to see him in the changing rooms again.” Was it a case of Raya saying Scotland had no chance? “Aye, he was saying it a wee bit,” the former Hearts star added. “He wasn’t saying it like that, but I could tell his voice that he was a bit confident.”
Hickey appears to have an incredible ability not to be fazed with what is required of him, whether it is starting a Scottish Cup final against Celtic aged 16, moving to Bologna at 18, making his Scotland debut as a teenager or being involved in a big money transfer to the Premier League. He takes everything in his stride and with ease, including beating Spain. He is not one to spend too much time reflecting on his achievements.
“Sometimes I try and do it, but I’ve just got like hundreds of games to play in, so I just focus on what I am doing just now and keep trying to get better,” Hickey, who clutched onto his match-worn top after the match, said. He did admit this was his career highlight so far.
Yet, when he was replaced by Nathan Patterson after 79 minutes during Saturday's win over Cyprus there was some concern that he could miss the Spain game. It never entered the player’s mind.
“I had a problem with my knee, but it was nothing serious," he said. “It was just a knock. I wanted to play in the game a lot. It was a massive game and I have dreamt about playing in this type of game since being a kid. So I was just delighted and even better to get a win.”