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Black impressed by quality and attitude of Scotland

The coach is assisting interim manager Malky Mackay ahead of the Netherlands friendly.

Eric Black was instantly struck by the quality of Scotland's players in their first training session, saying some could impress in England's top flight.

The Southampton coach has travelled north to assist Malky Mackay for the friendly against Netherlands at Pittodrie on Thursday. 

Mackay has called up eight uncapped players for the match, with more than half of the squad playing their club football in Scotland.

Black said he was not too familiar with the players who perform in the Scottish Premiership but the ability and attitude of the group was clear to him after just one training session.

"I have to plead a little bit of ignorance because it is so quick down in the (English) Premier League, you are constantly looking at the opposition," the former Motherwell manager said.

"I only see highlights and bits and pieces (of Scottish football). But I was really impressed in terms of the quality.

"I know it is a young squad but even the ones that have been here, the attitude was outstanding."

'I know it is only one session, it might be a big statement but there are certainly players there who can play in the Premier League, no question.'
Eric Black

He added: "I know it is only one session, it might be a big statement but there are certainly players there who can play in the Premier League, no question.

"They handled the ball well, I saw players who played with their head up and even in the tight areas we worked in - and I used the same sizes I use in the Premier League - the ball started to circulate within the first two or three minutes and the ball was kept moving.

"I think because we haven't qualified we get caught in a negative cycle and I am probably party to that as well. But there are good players there.

"The levels are going up and Celtic are helping to raise the bar playing Champions League football. I was really encouraged by what I saw. Fantastic. I am really pleased to be up."

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