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Hickey ‘making good progress’ in race to make Euros

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Hickey last featured for Scotland in the 2-0 loss against Spain in Seville

Aaron Hickey is “making good progress” with his injury and is determined to be fit for Euro 2024, says former Scotland defender Steven Pressley.

Pressley, head of player development at Hickey’s club Brentford, spoke to the 21-year-old about his injury this week.

Hickey’s recovery from a hamstring issue became even more important when his fellow right-back Nathan Patterson limped off against Chelsea on Monday.

Pressley said: “Whether it’s too quick or not, he’s giving it a real go.”

The former Heart of Midlothian full-back has not played since October after injuring his hamstring playing for Brentford against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But Pressley said the defender is making good progress in the gym and is focused on being in the Scotland squad for the finals in Germany this summer.

“I had a cup of coffee in the canteen with him and he said he’s going to give this a real go – he’s making good progress,” said the former centre-back.

“I said to him, ‘Aaron, my advice is this; from my own career, one of the lessons I learned is that when you’re a young player and opportunities like this arise, you always think there’s going to be plenty more in your career’.

“Landscapes change very quickly; careers change very quickly and this might be your only opportunity to play in a major tournament’.

“Now I hope for Scotland and for Aaron Hickey it’s one of many, but you just never know.

“I really hope – with recent news about Patterson as well – it would be a big plus for Scotland if he was fit because Aaron is an outstanding player.

“He really is a player I think could go on to the next level. I think he could play at the top.”

Scotland return to action in June with two final Euro 2024 warm-up games against Gibraltar and Finland.

But with Brentford manager Thomas Frank saying last week that Hickey was unlikely to play again this season, there is a possibility he will not have played a competitive game for eight months before Scotland kick-off against Germany on 14 June.

If neither former Bologna defender Hickey or Everton’s Patterson – whose injury against Chelsea is yet to be confirmed – were fit for the squad, the alternative is likely to be Anthony Ralston, who is second-choice right-back for Celtic.

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