Scotland Under-21 winger Lewis Morgan insists he is determined to ensure his dream season ends on a high for club and country.
Morgan has been in sensational form this season for St Mirren, who appear destined to clinch promotion back to the Scottish Premiership, and will start next season as a Celtic player following the completion of a deal for his services in January.
He’s also shown up well for the Scots, with a man-of-the-match showing in the Under-21s’ 2-0 win over the Netherlands back in September.
Having also won praise for his performance in the away defeat to England, Morgan is determined to maintain high standards between now and the close of the campaign – starting with tonight’s European Championship qualifier in Andorra.
How do you approach the game in Andorra, Lewis?
Nothing less than a win will do for us. That’s how I see it. We need to be winning these games if we want to qualify for tournaments. We’ve shown on one-off occasions like the win over the Netherlands – when we weren’t fancied to win – that we have what it takes so it’s about producing that level of performance consistently. We have to stand up and be counted.
Scotland have enjoyed some notable scalps at youth level in the last year or so – having overcome the likes of Brazil, Netherlands and Spain. What did that night in Paisley against the Dutch mean to you?
It was the perfect start to the group for us. The Netherlands are an established force in world football and particularly successful in the youth age levels. I’m not sure many outside of our camp gave us much chance going into that one but we ran out deserving winners. I’m always proud to pull on the Scotland shirt – wherever it is. But I’ll admit there was something special about doing it in the same stadium I’m used to with St Mirren. I felt really comfortable that night. We were convincing. It gave us a platform to build on. I still think we’re in contention. A win in Andorra would help us kick on.
You’re used to seeing your name in the headlines now. How do you look back on the last few months?
I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a player and a person and I’m trying to improve all the time. It’s a strange feeling but I’m probably one of the senior figures in the Under-21 squad now. I’ll continue to make mistakes but I’m trying to learn as I go. I’m working as hard as I can and I’ll see where it takes me. There have been so many positive moments this season for St Mirren and Scotland. Obviously I got the move to Celtic on top of that. I just don’t want it to fizzle out now with so many big games left to play. This is the business end of the season and you want to play in the games that matter.
You were touted by some onlookers recently as a potential call-up for Alex McLeish’s full Scotland squad…
The pathway is definitely there now with the Scotland national teams. You can see that with Oli McBurnie and Scott McKenna making the step up this time. My sole focus is on helping the Under-21s win in Andorra but, of course, it would be a dream come true to be selected for the senior side at some point. That’s the challenge for every player in our squad. I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.
Finally, looking down the age-groups, Scotland Under-17 midfielder Ethan Erhahon has been tipped as one to keep an eye on. You know him well from St Mirren. What can we expect from him?
Ethan has so many attributes and it’s up to him how far he goes. He trains with the first team regularly at St Mirren. Someone with his quality can’t let it go to waste. If he keeps working as hard as he is doing then people will hear a lot more about him sooner rather than later.
Andorra v Scotland, Friday 23 March, kick-off 6pm (local time), Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella.
Josh Donaldson (Dundee United)
Ross Doohan (Celtic)
Ryan Fulton (Hamilton)
Jason Kerr (St Johnstone)
John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian)
Calvin Miller (Celtic)
Liam Smith (Heart of Midlothian*)
Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock)
Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock)
Liam Burt (Rangers****)
Allan Campbell (Motherwell)
Chris Cadden (Motherwell)
Greg Docherty (Rangers)
Kyle Magennis (St Mirren)
Stephen Mallan (Barnsley)
Lewis Morgan (Celtic***)
Harvey St Clair (Chelsea)
Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock)
Oliver Burke (West Bromwich Albion)
Ryan Hardie (Rangers**)
Robbie Muirhead (MK Dons)
Scott Wright (Aberdeen)
*On loan to St Mirren
**On loan to Livingston
***On loan to St Mirren
****On loan to Dumbarton