DEREK McINNES hailed Lewis Ferguson as future Scotland superstar last night, after the 19-year-old stepped up with a priceless late winning goal for Aberdeen for the second time in a week. Eight days after he had headed in the late winner at Hampden which will take the Dons back to the national stadium next month for the Betfred Cup final, the teenager stepped up to curl a wicked free-kick beyond Kilmarnock’s Jamie MacDonald to seal the 2-1 win which give the Pittodrie side a crucial three points in the Ladbrokes Premiership table.
While McInnes stopped short of saying the teenager should be included in Alex McLeish’s squad for the upcoming Uefa Nations League double header against Albania and Israel, these are matches Scotland must approach without both Steven Naismith and almost certainly Leigh Griffiths, and with the status of Fulham’s Tom Cairney uncertain. There is sure to be a clamour in some parts to see the Scotland Under-21 star promoted to the full-side.
“For me he will [play for Scotland], whether he is ready for it now, it’s not my job to do that,” said McInnes. “But the boy was born to play football and born to play on the big occasion, and I’m sure everything will come his way in time.”
Ferguson has certainly proved capable of handling the steps up in class which have come his way thus far. Considering all the
headlines the teenager has commanded since nodding in that semi-final winner against Rangers, the club his father Derek and uncle Barry graced with such distinction, it was impressive that he should shrug off all that exposure to back that performance up in the manner he did yesterday.
He was the only player spared the ire of McInnes after a first-half showing at Rugby Park which fell way short of the standards he
requires. Clubmates Graeme Shinnie, Scott McKenna and Gary Mackay-Steven have
all been involved in recent Scotland squads.
“In the first half, the only one who was playing the game in the right manner and bringing any level of performance for us was Ferguson,” said McInnes. “It’s important we don’t expect too much from him but I know what I’m going to get most weeks. Some days will be better than others but he always brings a good performance.”
Source : HeraldScotland