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Scotland coach reveals his injury fears over John McGinn

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JOHN McGINN’S mates couldn’t stifle the laughter as he started dancing.

Behind them, John Carver couldn’t hide a wince.

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John McGinn was centre stage as Scotland were welcomed to their training villageCredit: PA
Garmisch-Partenkirchen threw on a traditional Bavarian welcome

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen threw on a traditional Bavarian welcomeCredit: Kenny Ramsay
But Carver admits he was worried about the midfielder as he performed his German jig

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But Carver admits he was worried about the midfielder as he performed his German jigCredit: Kenny Ramsay

Scotland star McGinn brought the house down during Sunday night’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen welcoming reception.

Videos of his ‘Schuhplattler’ jig with three lederhosen-clad Bavarians went viral.

To be fair, Steve Clarke’s assistant Carver thought the way the Aston Villa midfielder embraced the occasion was brilliant — and important too.

But part of him also feared McGinn’s enthusiasm for the task was putting him at risk of becoming the latest in a long line of crocks ruled out of Euro 2024.

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Thankfully, there were no twisted ankles, knees or hamstring strains as the oompah band played. Carver heaved a heavy sigh of relief and said: “In fairness, there are a few in the group who are very good like that.

“It’s important. The longer you stay in a tournament, the more important it becomes because you’re living in each other’s pockets for three, four, five weeks.

“We’ve already had two weeks away, if you think about it. So we need somebody to break the ice and put a smile on faces.

“You might be surprised but sometimes it’s me, believe it or not! I’m not bad with the darts.

“But isn’t it good that John joins in with the people and the culture? I couldn’t have done that, especially when they went down to the squat!

“If I’d done that I wouldn’t have been getting up again.

Andy Robertson injury fears ease but John McGinn injury fears were high!

“But it was good. I was standing behind him just in case he got injured, thinking, ‘John! No! No! No!’.

“But it was good because he embraced the whole situation.

“It was very important that we did that because, let’s face it, we’re coming into the towns and we need the hosts to see that we’re going to appreciate everything they put on for us and do for us.

“Then we have to focus. But what an environment we’re in.”

Seeing Andy Robertson hit the deck hurt in training yesterday had Scotland fans everywhere screaming two words. Not again.

Five minutes later it was Lawrence Shankland being helped off the pitch to get treatment.

Thankfully it seems neither player has suffered a serious knock.

Carver said: “I just thought, ‘Not another one!’.

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Every day of the Euros host Roger Hannah will bring you all the latest news and views from the Scotland camp in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

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“When we finished training I walked across there and had a good conversation with Andy and he’s fine.

“But you do worry. We had another one with Zander Clark in the warm-up the other night, the same sort of thing.

“He hurt his ankle and all of a sudden you’re thinking the worst. But he was fine.

“That’s sometimes in your head when they’re preparing for games. You’re walking on eggshells because you don’t want anyone to miss out.

“We lost Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack last time before the Euros. I’m sure those guys are thinking, ‘I don’t want to miss another!’.

“They don’t know how many more they have left in them. Unfortunately, it’s not in our control. We talk about this all the time. We only get these players on loan.

“They’ve been injured playing for their club sides, so it’s just an unfortunate thing. But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we’ve just got to get on with it and deal with what we have in front of us.

“There are things that happen in games and you think, ‘Don’t go in for the challenge!’.

“That’s my thought anyway because I’m thinking about Friday.

“Even in training, I sometimes tell them to stay out of trouble.

“It’s difficult sometimes, but the closer they get to that first game you see, not the attitude, but the players’ focus and mindset change because you know they have to be ready to go.”

Carver talked about how the training starts for real today ahead of Friday night’s opener in Munich.

Yesterday’s session in front of the locals was just to give them a glimpse of the big name players in action and to say thank you for the warm welcome.

There were certainly plenty of smiles on the faces of the youngsters as they saw the likes of Scott McTominay, McGinn and Billy Gilmour.

From now on, though, there’s a huge game to prepare for.
Carver doesn’t see the opener against the hosts as any kind of free hit.

That said, he does hope the Germans start the tournament slowly and Scotland take full advantage. He added: “Of course you do. You hope they get off to a slow start.

“We need a little bit of luck, we need a bit of good fortune with injuries. There are a few facets that you need going into the first game.

“But let’s hope they have a slow start. I would be very surprised because their coach is very professional and has them well organised.

“We’ve watched their previous two games and they were maybe in second or third gear, if I’m being honest.

“Their mindset will be, ‘I need to be ready for that first game against Scotland’.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

Unless you’ve been in that environment 24/7, it’s actually quite hard to put into words what it’s all about.

“As a player, you know when you’re going to peak and when you have to play that first game.”

Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers at the Scottish Sun football page

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