UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
FYR Macedonia v Scotland
Tuesday 11 October 2016, kick-off 6.45pm (local time)
Philip II Arena, Skopje
Aidan Nesbitt wants to repay the faith shown in him by new Scotland Under-21 coach Scot Gemmill by helping the team to victory over FYR Macedonia tomorrow night in Skopje.
With Scotland out of the running for a place at next summer’s finals, Gemmill made sweeping changes to the squad as he looked to make a head start on preparations for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers which start next September.
Nesbitt was one of the players included the squad, and was one of 11 who made their first Scotland Under-21 appearance in the 2-0 defeat to Group 3 leaders Iceland last week.
The 19-year-old, on loan at Morton from Celtic, has been a regular in Gemmill’s squads at under-17 and under-19 level and was delighted to make his first appearance for the under-21s on Wednesday.
He said: “It was a great honour to be chosen for the under-21s in the first place but to start against Iceland was really pleasing on a personal level.
“I’ve worked with Scot for a few years now and there have definitely been more highs than lows.
“He is someone I really enjoy working with as he seems to know how to get the best out of his players.
“Hopefully the team can put in a good performance against Macedonia tomorrow night and show him that he was right to pick us and that we are ready for the step up.
“They are joint top of this qualifying group with Iceland, ahead of France, so that shows you just how good they are.”
Nesbitt has been a regular for Morton this season as he bids to continue his development after a short loan spell at Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle last season.
The attacking midfielder knows he has a long way to go if he is to reach the top but believes life at Cappielow is helping him find his way.
He has made six league appearances so far this season and helped the club reach the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup where they will face Aberdeen at Hampden Park, a place that holds happy memories for him.
He said: “We’ve made a decent start in the league and have a semi-final to look forward to.
“The last time I played at Hampden I scored a hat-trick against Rangers in the Youth Cup Final in 2015 so it would be nice if I could repeat that against Aberdeen!
“We have a really tight-knit dressing room and I think you can see that in the way we play – there is a real togetherness.
“It’s a good place to develop as a young player as the coaches have really helped me on different aspects of my game.
“Every match is challenging in a different way and that will be good for my development.
“I don’t want to think too far ahead right now but I’m enjoying my football at Morton and love being part of the under-21 set up.”