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Wearing an armband feels more ‘natural’ for Scottish skipper John McGinn Vibesbullet

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Scotland midfielder John McGinn feels wearing the armband is becoming more natural after admitting the captain’s role was initially ‘alien’.

The 28-year-old will lead his country against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday as he earns his 50th cap.

The former St Mirren and Hibernian player led Steve Clarke’s side to victory against Ukraine on Wednesday when he once again came in for the injured Andy Robertson.

McGinn was named Aston Villa club captain in the summer but there have been some challenges as Steven Gerrard’s side endured a slow start to the campaign before catching up with a draw against Manchester City and beating Southampton.

Gerrard recently claimed McGinn was “trying too hard” but the former Rangers manager was expecting it after handing him the captaincy.

When asked about his managerial roles, McGinn told the PA news agency: “I’m certainly feeling more comfortable and enjoying the responsibility a lot more.

“I know I only stand up for Robbo when he’s suspended or injured, but when I do it at club level and then do it here, it gradually becomes a bit more natural.

“It was strange at first, but both gaffers believed in me to play that role.

“I enjoy it very much and it certainly makes it very special if you are the captain of your country.”

Certainly leading by example, McGinn took charge on Wednesday when his goal gave Scotland a well-deserved breakthrough with 20 minutes remaining as they led Group B1 of the Nations League.

His 14th international goal looked familiar as the midfielder put his body in front of a defender and used his power to ward off the challenge before firing home.

The Ukrainian players called for a foul, but the Italian referee, following the advice of his video assistants, had no need to look at the monitor.

McGinn said: “I’m used to doing it, but I’m also used to being pulled up for it. That’s how I usually get my bookings for dissent.

“I knew if I put my body forward it would give the referee a decision but luckily they made the right decision this time and the goal stood.

“Only good because I partied a little too much.”

:: McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador John McGinn spoke at one of 20 new locations opening this fall. Fun Football is the UK’s largest free grassroots participation program and will provide coaching to one million children over the next four years. Sign up at to attend a session near you

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