Houston touts Hibs midfielder for international honours

Peter Houston. Pic by Michael Gillen

Peter Houston. Pic by Michael Gillen

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There was a little hint of mischief in Peter Houston’s eye this week as he touted Hibs midfielder John McGinn for further Scotland honours.

The 22-year-old has been called up to Gordon Strachan’s national squad for games against Canada tomorrow and Slovenia on Sunday which could rule him out of Hibs’ top-of-the-table clash with the Bairns on Saturday.

John McGinn  has been called up to Gordon Strachan's recent squads. Pic by Michael Gillen.

John McGinn has been called up to Gordon Strachan's recent squads. Pic by Michael Gillen.

And with a smile Falkirk boss Houston encouraged Gordon Strachan to pick McGinn for the match with Slovenia – ruling his out of facing his side in the process.

With that consequence in mind Houston laughed: “I think John should be a starter for Scotland!”

The midfielder was also subject of a mad dash back from international duty last year when he was selected in Strachan’s pool for a Friday night fixture against England at Wembley, and raced back north to take part in another crucial match with the Easter Road side - co-incidentally also against the Bairns.

And Houston understands Neil Lennon’s frustration and desire to have his midfielder back in place.

John McGinn has played against the Bairns this season and was involved in the tackle which led to Falkirk's only red card this term - shown to Tom Taiwo on the last trip to Easter Road. Pic by Michael Gillen.

John McGinn has played against the Bairns this season and was involved in the tackle which led to Falkirk's only red card this term - shown to Tom Taiwo on the last trip to Easter Road. Pic by Michael Gillen.

“I’d be the exact same if he was my player. If he wasn’t going to play I would be asking the question as well.

“So, I understand.”

He did also believe the call-up was merited for McGinn, who has reportedly been watched by Sunderland boss Davie Moyes recently.

Houston added: “I hope he’s involved, I think he should be involved, but I understand that managers want their strongest team on the pitch.

“I would want my strongest team. If it was Luca Gasparotto or Fraser Aird playing for Canada then I’d be the exact same, I’d want them in my team.

“You want your big players for big games.”

The Canadian Bairns are set to play against Scotland - also at Easter Road - on Wednesday and return to Falkirk and are available for selection for the SPFL Championship showdown.