I will fight ex-Rangers and Celtic stars for Scottish shirt, says Stephen O’Donnell

Stephen O’Donnell is delighted Scotland have so many quality young players – as long as the Motherwell captain keeps them at bay and stays in Steve Clarke’s plans.

O’Donnell has been a mainstay in that right-back slot and fended off the attentions of Nathan Patterson, who recently left Rangers for English Premier League side Everton.

But with Celtic’s Anthony Ralston and Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay continuing to do well, O’Donnell is taking nothing for granted.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Premiership clash against Hearts at Tynecastle, O’Donnell said: “I don’t see it as a battle, I just see it as football.

“Nathan is a top young player, with a lot of other boys like Calvin Ramsay, Anthony Ralston – there’s a lot more, it’s not just Patterson.

“There’s talent out there – and I hope I can keep them at bay for as long as possible!”

O’Donnell says as long as he continues to do well for Motherwell he can have a shot at the national team

O’Donnell says he wants to stick with Graham Alexander and keep his place on Clarke’s team, but admits there’s not much he can do.

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He said: “The Scottish stuff… a lot is out of your control whenever there’s a Scottish team.

“There’s a lot of young talent coming in, but there’s no stress at that end and I’ll just try to enjoy my football and look to do well for Motherwell – I think that’s the main thing. .

“If that happens, other things will follow.

O'Donnell hopes to stay in Scottish boss Steve Clarke's plans
O’Donnell hopes to stay in Scottish boss Steve Clarke’s plans

“The manager, here and in Scotland, knows me quite well and knows what I can do, and if I do those things I will always have a chance – but again there are a lot of things that are out of our control.

“But I think for Scotland it’s just important that as many of us as possible [are available] as the gaffer wants, he has headaches and selection issues, and that will give us the best chance of qualifying for a World Cup.

“I just want to play here, play well and stay fit. I think those are the three things I want to try to do, that give him a decision, and that’s all I try to do.”

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