'Out of this world' - Scots heap praise on Canaries midfielder
- Credit: PA
Scottish excitement has seen Norwich City loanee Billy Gilmour hailed as “fabulous" and “world class” ahead of tonight’s qualifier in the Faroe Islands.
The 20-year-old Chelsea midfielder has been kept on the bench for three of City’s last four Premier League games but has established himself as a key part of the Scotland team.
Gilmour was a driving force as the Scots snatched a 3-2 win over Israel at a packed-out Hampden Park on Saturday night, as over 50,000 wildly celebrated Scott McTominay finding an injury-time winner.
That has put Steve Clarke’s team firmly on course for second place in their group and a play-off place as they pursue a first World Cup since France 98.
Rangers legend Ally McCoist was still flying high on TalkSport on Monday morning, including amongst his praise: "Second-half, Gilmour was fabulous. I'm glossing over the fact we weren't great first-half but that's fish and chip paper, that's gone.
"Second-half, Gilmour was out of this world.”
It was a similar story straight after the game when Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn was asked about his young team-mate.
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“He’s a world-class player, Billy. He’s going through a wee rough patch at Norwich, obviously frustrated not to be playing,” said McGinn.
“But when he’s in the Scotland jersey, he’s always at the top of his game."
Former Everton striker James McFadden told BBC Scotland that Gilmour’s display was “absolutely magnificent” and ex-Canaries manager Paul Lambert added to the hype.
“A lot of things go through him, that’s the big thing. The biggest compliment I can give him is that he takes the ball every time,” the Celtic legend told Sky Sports.
“If you take the ball every time under severe pressure then that’s a really good sign. He’s only a young lad as well, so there shouldn’t be too much of a level of expectancy on his shoulders.
“But he’s performing really well, he’s a got a really good player alongside him in McGinn and I think they play really well together.
“So I think there’s a lot of positivity but he’s certainly one that could really make a name for himself.”
However, Scotland boss Steve Clarke tried not to fan the flames when he was asked about the former Rangers trainee’s performance, opting to praise his team as a whole.
“Yeah, Billy did well but they all did well in the second half. They all didn’t do quite so well in the first half,” said Clarke.
“But I’ve said to the players in there, it’s only three points. It’s a great night, it’s exciting, we’re all happy that we’re still in control of the play-off position but we now have to go to the Faroes and make sure that we cement this result with another win, that’s our focus.”
Kenny McLean was an unused substitute on Saturday but City team-mate Grant Hanley returns to the fold ahead of tonight’s game (7.45pm) after serving a one-match ban.