Treat them like panto villains

Gordon Strachan has insisted that he has no issue with the Scottish fans booing Irish midfield duo James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady – as long as it is based purely on footballing grounds not personal.

Both players were born in Glasgow but opted to use family ties to represent the Republic of Ireland. McCarthy’s grandfather hailed from Donegal and was a strong influence on his career, while McGeady also qualified to play for Ireland through his grandparents.

Whilst playing in Scotland earlier in their careers, McCarthy for Hamilton and McGeady for Celtic, they suffered abuse at the hands of rival fans because of their choice to play for Ireland over their native Scotland.

Now club team-mates, the Scot boss has seen the duo attract huge transfer fees since and believes that any abuse from the Tartan Army in next weeks Euro 2016 qualifer (November 14) at Parkhead will be a testament to their footballing abilities.

When asked if Scots should lay off the pair, Strachan said: “No, they can do what they want.

“Are you going to ask them to pay £60 and then tell them they cannot say something?

“As long as you don’t have nastiness about it then that is fine. But we have all been booed. I used to come here (to Parkhead) regularly and get booed. It didn’t bother me. and that was when I was the manager. It is part of football. It is like pantomime stuff, as long as it is pantomime humour, then we don’t mind that. If it goes beyond that, then that’s not fine.”

Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson join the duo in the squad for the big game against Steven Naismith’s Scotland and McCarthy will no doubt to be looking for a victory for the Boys in Green just two days after he celebrates his 24th birthday.

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