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Motherwell's Gallagher getting 'just rewards' for strong start

Stephen Robinson was delighted to see his defender get a first Scotland call-up.

Declan Gallagher has been in impressive form for Motherwell.
Declan Gallagher has been in impressive form for Motherwell. SNS Group

Stephen Robinson believes Declan Gallagher's first Scotland call-up is thoroughly deserved and rewards the defender's work to become "a complete player".

Gallagher was drafted into Steve Clarke's Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino and though he didn't play the recognition caps a strong start to the season after making the switch from Livingston.

Robinson said it was evident from his Motherwell performances that Gallagher was growing as a player and that there was every reason to expect to see him stay in the picture for international honours.

"I'm really pleased for him," the Fir Park boss said. "I think he thoroughly deserved it.

"He's been a real standout performer for us this season and he's worked very, very hard.

"I think he's got better and better with each game, he's taken more and more responsibility and he's becoming a complete player at our level.

"He's got his just rewards. He didn't get game time but that's just the start of it. He's got his call-up and what he has to do is keep working harder, keep improving and he'll be on Steve's radar.

Call-ups for a number of Motherwell players meant Robinson changed things up in training last week as he looks to continue the team's run that has taken them to third in the table. A win over fourth-placed Aberdeen this weekend would extend the gap between the teams to seven points but Robinson is refusing to get carried away with so many games left to play.

"I think we had seven or eight away this week, which is hard to work with at times, but we've got so many good young players at the club and it gives them a chance to be up with the first team," he said. "And you start to get to know the boys that are 15 and 16 that are in on day release from school as well and they're training with people like Peter Hartley so it's a real experience for them.

"So you can't do loads of tactical work but you can certainly bring the club together.

"It's how well the club have done recently and boys have had their reward for that due to that but you always have a little fear that they'll come back and be injured. So as much as it's good, for a club manager, you're always a wee bit nervous.

He added: "I won't read too much into talk that all of a sudden if we manage to beat Aberdeen we're definitely going to finish third. That's not how we look at it.

"We try to build each week, each game, try to keep improving and I genuinely believe there is still a lot more to come from especially our forward players."

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