Craig Gordon: John McGinn can be great for Scotland

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Craig Gordon believes John McGinn could be the perfect fit to replace injured captain Scott Brown for Scotland’s decisive World Cup qualifying double-header this week. The Celtic keeper sees the Hibernian midfielder as one of the few players available to Gordon Strachan who possesses Brown’s dynamism and dig.

McGinn’s two exquisite long-range strikes in the scintillating 2-2 draw at Parkhead on Saturday left Gordon purring over the 22-year-old’s ability, and recognising that the four-times capped performer even has a forward threat beyond that associated with the Celtic captain.

John McGinn carries a greater goal threat than Scott Brown says Craig Gordon. Picture: SNS.

John McGinn carries a greater goal threat than Scott Brown says Craig Gordon. Picture: SNS.

Gordon believes the absence of Brown, out with a hamstring injury, could provide McGinn, pictured, with the chance to shine on the grand stage, as he did on Saturday alongside home double-scorer Callum McGregor. The Celtic midfielder was yesterday given a long-championed call-up for the hosting of Slovakia on Thursday and the assignment in Slovenia three days later – games Scotland must win to earn a play-off slot. The absence of Stuart Armstrong, also through injury, could present an opening for McGregor. Gordon has no doubt McGinn and McGregor have earned serious consideration.

Asked if the Hibernian man could be the new Scott Brown, the keeper, who is looking to earn his 50th cap on Thursday, said: “He’s not too dissimilar to Scott, although he plays a wee bit further forward and carries a bit more of a goal threat than Broony.

“In terms of breaking up play and getting [opponents] moving in the wrong direction they are alike. There are not too many players that play the game like that. We’re not blessed with combative midfielders