Home town boo boys didn’t take the shine off Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack’s Scotland debut

Scotland's Ryan Jack (left) with Memphis Depay (SNS Group / Bruce White)
Scotland's Ryan Jack (left) with Memphis Depay (SNS Group / Bruce White)

DEFIANT Ryan Jack insists being booed by the Tartan Army did not sour his Scotland debut.

The Rangers star collected a longed-for first cap in Thursday’s defeat to Holland.

Doing so in his home city of Aberdeen – and at his old stomping ground of Pittodrie – should have made it an extra-special experience.

Instead, the former Don was jeered by a section of Granite City punters, still furious over his summer decision to ditch the Reds for rivals Rangers.

Jack blocked out the boo boys to produce a strong showing in an unfamiliar right-back role.

Afterwards he insisted his frosty reception did not take the shine off a night to remember for himself and his proud family.

“It’s part and parcel of football, and that doesn’t bother me at all,” said Jack.

“I got booed coming in off the bus and you get booed when you get the ball. But, look, we were up in Aberdeen and the majority were Aberdeen fans there supporting Scotland. I knew that before the game.

“I just wanted to concentrate on my football and make the most of winning my first cap for my country.

“It’s not me that makes that decision (to boo). People just express how they feel and I just need to deal with that.

“To be honest, during the game I don’t really take notice of anything that’s happening, apart from what’s on the pitch.

“Obviously, when I had a throw-in on the far side a couple of times I was aware of it. But it’s part of football and I just wanted to enjoy my first outing for my country. That’s what I certainly did.

“It won’t put me off playing for my country. Not at all.”

Jack has endured an up-and-down start to life at Rangers, collecting three red cards in his first 15 appearances.

But, to his credit, the 25-year-old admits he is far from satisfied with the first impressions he has made – and is aiming to prove his doubters wrong.

He said: “As a player, if you sit down and think: ‘How’s it going to go?’, it’s not gone the way I’d planned, but that’s part and parcel of the game.

“I think I’ll always strive to do better. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing excellent or not doing so well. I’ll always strive to do better.

“There’s no doubt that’s in me – I’ve had that my whole career since I’ve been a professional.

“Whatever game I play, I always strive to do better, to shut people up that doubt you and that’s what I’m about.”

The doubters may have been out in force on Thursday night, but Jack’s staunchest believers were there too.

His family and friends filed into Pittodrie in their numbers to witness their hero’s scrapbook moment.

For them, the defining emotion of the evening was pride.

For Jack, affording them the chance to experience it was the least he could offer in return for their unwavering support.

“I’ve got good people around me. I’ve got a close-knit family and I’ve got my wife and daughter. Away from the pitch they are always around me and keeping me going,” said the Gers star.

“That’s what you do it for. You do it for your family, you do it for yourself and you do it for your fans.

“It’s not just when you’re playing football. There are times you need your family and I know for a fact they are always there.

“So I’m just wanting to enjoy winning my first cap. I’ve made my debut for my country and I’m delighted with that.

“I must have had 15 people there watching.

“For my dad, I’m sure he was the proudest man in there seeing me make my Scotland debut.

“As I say, you do it for your family, you do it for your friends, and I’m sure everyone is proud.”

 

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