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Reid: Gallagher deserves second chance and was picked on merit

The Scotland coach has said the Motherwell defender has to make the most of his opportunity.

Scotland coach Steven Reid says Declan Gallagher is in the squad on form and that he has the opportunity to put his controversial past firmly behind him.

The 28 year-old was brought into the camp after the withdrawal of Ryan Jack and Grant Hanley and has impressed with Motherwell this season. Reid said that the player had been given a "second chance" after an assault conviction in 2015 that saw him receive a three-year jail sentence.

"I know he has spoken in the past about his remorse over the incident," the Scotland assistant coach said.

"He has rebuilt his career if you like and you have to give him some credit for that as well.

"He had to go away, take a look at himself, his lifestyle and he has been given a second chance.

"These opportunities don't come around too often for him so it is great that he is involved.

"He trained this morning, trained well so we're looking forward to working with him this week."

Reid, who said that preparation and momentum for the play-offs was the key aim of the remaining Euro 2020 qualifiers, also addressed criticism that Ryan Christie had received after being sent off for Celtic on Sunday.

Christie's red card brought attention on social media and the player deactivated his Twitter account on Sunday evening. Reid revealed that the coaching staff had spoken to the player when he arrived at the training camp and said that he had personal experience of the negative effects.

"It definitely opens you up to abuse and criticism, it is how you can deal with that as an individual, " he said. "The back end of my career, it (Twitter) was just starting to take off and I was in a relegation dog fight with West Brom at the time.

"I came off it because of the abuse, the negative messages you get at times.

"It is just whether the individual can deal with it. Out of 100 positive tweets you might get one that is not so positive and it's how you deal with that.

"For me, I use it sparingly. I try to stay off it as much as I can.

"It is one of those debates at the minute with the amount of abuse going on and directed at players, whether it is really worth being on it, especially when you are in a hard-fought season. It is tough going."

The coach said that he hoped the players' reaction to the setback would be a determination to impress in the upcoming internationals.

"We spoke briefly last night, obviously he is flat after the result and the red card," he said. "I have been there myself, been sent off many times so I have that ability to relate to that.

"But in a strange way he will be wanting to get back on the pitch as soon as possible, not to make up for it but to show what he can do, hopefully get rid of that disappointment and put in a couple of decent performances if he gets the opportunity.

"It was an out-of-character challenge, I am sure he will be wanting to make up for it with club and country as soon as possible."

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