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Ex-Rangers star hoping for Scotland Euro 2024 place after nightmare injury

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ROSS McCRORIE has told how his Euro 2024 dreams helped him get through his injury nightmare.

The former Rangers and Aberdeen star is back to his all-action best after last summer’s £2million move to Bristol City took a turn for the worst.

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McCrorie’s chances could be aided by injuries to squad regularsCredit: Kenny Ramsay
He has been part of national team camps in the past but is yet to make his debut

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He has been part of national team camps in the past but is yet to make his debutCredit: Willie Vass
The former Gers kid captained the side at U21 level

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The former Gers kid captained the side at U21 levelCredit: Willie Vass – The Sun

McCrorie, 26, was left kicking his heels in frustration until January when he suffered a pelvic infection that ended up requiring surgery.

But the defender revealed the thought of playing at the Euros for Scotland kept him going as he fought back to fitness alongside Under-21 international striker Tommy Conway.

McCrorie said: “I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on my worst enemy because it was excruciating.

“It was a bone infection that ended up requiring surgery, and really knocked me for six because it was so traumatic.

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“But the prospect of playing for Scotland at the Euros was the perfect motivation to get back in action.

“It was a nightmare, but to get back in action and finish the season strongly with Bristol City has given me a shout of getting in Steve Clarke’s squad.

“It would be a dream come true, a real fairytale, to play for Scotland.

“I’ve been doing everything I can to finish the season on a high to stake my claim.”

McCrorie was lured to England by ex-boss Nigel Pearson, but what started as a training-ground injury meant he never played under him.

Instead, he had to wait until mid-January to make his City debut under new gaffer Liam Manning.

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McCrorie added: “I’m feeling great now, but it’s fair to say it’s been a pretty mad season for me.

“To have the full first half of the season wiped out by injury was really difficult to take.

“I got back ahead of schedule in January and I’ve been trying to make up for lost time ever since.

“It’s been an eye-opener, but I’m relieved to get back out on the pitch, and I’ve accumulated a good number of minutes considering where I was.

“I’ve been happy with the majority of my performances, but I’d like to think there’s a lot more to come.”

McCrorie is hoping that his efforts have not gone unnoticed by boss Clarke and his backroom team.

He said: “I was disappointed not to win a place in the March squad, but I had to be realistic with myself because I’d just come back a month prior. But getting into the squad for the Euros is a major motivation.

“I’d got into the summer squad before I got the injury so I got a taste of things to come and I wanted more.

“Tommy Conway has had his own injury period as well, and we have been banging on at each other to get ourselves back fit, and get into the best shape of our lives.”

The defender in action for the Dons against his old side last season before a move down south

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The defender in action for the Dons against his old side last season before a move down southCredit: Willie Vass

McCrorie hopes he’ll benefit from Uefa’s decision to increase squad sizes from 23 to 26.

Injuries to Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson could help the cause of the Bristol ace, who has been playing on the right-hand side of the Robins’ defence.

He added: “The news that squads would be bigger was music to my ears.

“I got a few messages from SFA staff wishing me well when I was injured, and I’ve had a few since saying how happy they are that I’m back playing.

“I don’t think I’ll be going to Germany as a fan if I don’t get picked.

“I have got a good relationship with the Scotland players, and having been in squads with the Rangers boys I’m itching to make my international debut.

“It would be a great honour to get called up this summer.”

McCrorie is hoping to extend the in-form Robins’ unbeaten run to eight games at Stoke this weekend.

He said: “I don’t know about a message to Steve Clarke and his coaching staff, but I hope they are watching.

“It’s not communicated to us when Scotland are watching us.

“But the games are televised, so they know when you’ve been playing and can keep an eye on you from afar.

“Hopefully I can keep putting in the performances.

“We’ve got one game to go and you know that anything can happen.

“I’ve been playing plenty of minutes, but to be honest when I got that injury I didn’t expect to be back in January.

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“I was thinking it would be the back end of March, so to play 20-odd games when I consider where I was with that injury is quite a miracle for myself, and I’m really happy with the way things have gone.

“I just want to keep building on it, especially for next season too. But Scotland is a really big target for myself, and I’d love to represent my country at the Euros this summer.”

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