Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has revealed his desperation to return for Scotland following a frustrating Covid lay-off.

The 26-year-old had to miss Aston Villa’s game against Brentford last weekend as well as his country’s damaging defeat in Denmark on Wednesday after testing positive for the virus.

McGinn is now hoping to face Moldova at Hampden on Saturday after joining up with Steve Clarke’s squad at Oriam following his period of isolation.


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He said: “I’m chomping at the bit. I’m probably the worst guy to have spending 10 days in the house but I managed to get through it thankfully. Villa dropped off a treadmill so I was trying to stay as fit as possible and keep my head right. I’m fine now and glad to be back with the boys so hopefully I can help out.

“If it was three or four years ago, it would have been Deliveroo every night and maybe a wee can of Tennent’s at the same time but you just can’t afford to do that these days or you get left behind.

“I managed to do what I could do, by running on the treadmill, which wasn’t ideal. Thankfully I had no symptoms and felt fine but it was a reminder of what we’re living through and that the virus is still out there.

“I’ve done full training since I returned. We’ve got all the stats and technology to check I’m alright and I’m not going to keel over. My heart-rate was a wee bit high on Thursday but I’m feeling good.

“I mentioned recently that this is the fittest I’ve ever felt so the Covid came along at an awkward time for me. It was tough for me to watch on Wednesday because I couldn’t help the boys but this is a good chance for me to get back involved and see how long I last against Moldova if I get the nod.”

McGinn believes Scotland must start strongly to ensure Moldova – who lost 2-0 at home to Austria in midweek – are not allowed to settle into the game.

He said: “The only good thing about not being involved against Denmark was that I got a chance to catch bits of the Moldova v Austria game and towards the end, although they were tiring, they still had chances to get a point.

“They were still in the game right until stoppage time so they’re definitely no mugs. They’ll relish the atmosphere at Hampden so it’s up to us to get an early goal and show our fans what we can do.

“In previous games like this where we’re expected to win, we’ve generally dealt with it pretty well by getting an early goal but if we have to wait until the 85th minute, the three points is all that matters at the end of the day.”

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