Scotland full-back Alan Hutton is expected to start the crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers against Republic of Ireland in the summer.
The Aston Villa defender has had a good second half to the season and manager Gordon Strachan has included him in the squad. Ahead of the match, Hutton has revealed that the games against Ireland and England hold a special feeling for Scotland players and it is difficult to put a finger upon. After being regarded as the underdogs amongst the home nations, Scotland have a good possibility of reaching the Euro 2016. This would be their first major tournament in a long time.
Hutton is not ready to give up on this position, as Scotland target an away victory. The national team has won the last three matches with the 3-1 friendly defeat against England back in November 2014 the only sour result. Hence, the players go into the game with a lot of confidence. It is the exact opposite of the situation faced by Ireland, who have failed to kick on after the appointment of Martin O’Neill. The former Aston Villa manager did not make an immediate impact due to lack of competitive games. Now that the competitive games have arrived, he has been finding it difficult to motivate the players.
“It definitely does feel different, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is certainly a little bit extra when it comes to the rivalry at international level. When you are playing England or Ireland, it definitely feels a bit different.It was definitely something special, the FA Cup final. Just to be part of it. But going into a game such as that, Villa were massive underdogs, it was a different kind of build-up, a different way of looking at things, how you need to stop them,” said Hutton.