Declan Gallagher sets Scotland World Cup playoff target as Jim Goodwin kickstarts Aberdeen career


Declan Gallagher has his sights set on a strong few weeks he hopes will put Aberdeen in the top-six mix and him in Scotland’s World Cup play-off plans.

The big defender has only recently got a consistent run of games after the first half of his season was wrecked by two Covid isolations and a torn hamstring.

Gallagher arrived with a big reputation when he signed from Motherwell in the summer and he is now finally ready to deliver.

There’s plenty to play for with Aberdeen pushing for a top-half finish, starting with tonight’s trip to Tynecastle to face Hearts.

The 31-year-old also hopes to force his way back into Steve Clarke’s plans for next month’s play-off with Ukraine – if it is played.

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Gallagher was a Scots hero in Serbia as Scotland booked a place at Euro 2020 and he said: “It is something I always have my eye on. But first and foremost I need to perform for Aberdeen.

“I am happy to get this run of games and hopefully now I have seen the back of Covid and my injuries I can kick on and show the reason why I came to this club. I want to show why they signed me and showed such faith in me.

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“Hopefully I can repay that faith. If that means I can get a call-up for the World Cup qualifiers as well then that would be the best of both worlds.”

Aberdeen face a test of mettle with this clash against the Jambos followed by games against Rangers and Hibs.

Gallagher said: “There are three massive games against teams who are all above us in the league.

“But they are also teams we have done well against this season.”


The Scotland cap admits his dream summer move quickly turned into a nightmare.

He added: “It was tough as I’m used to playing every week but after my first training session here I had to isolate for 10 days because my wife got Covid.

“From there, I missed a fair chunk of pre-season in general so I was playing catch-up.

“Then when I did get in the team I did my hammy against Hibs so that was another six to eight weeks out then Covid again just after Christmas.

“It is tough because you come here with the big reputation. A lot of people know me for the Serbian game against (Aleksandar) Mitrovic. You see how well he is doing (at Fulham) compared to how my season has gone. I don’t have any social media and I don’t see the criticism.

“Hopefully, I can impress the Aberdeen fans by getting results for the club.”

Dons boss Jim Goodwin has opened up with two draws and knows his side will need to start putting wins on the board if they want to make the top six.

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His St Mirren side lost out on goal difference last season and believes it will take more than 40 points this time around.

Goodwin said: “I’d dread to put a number on it. I could be miles off and I don’t want to put a target for the players they see as acceptable and we fall short. This season it’s probably going to be a little bit more than the last one.

“At St Mirren we missed out with 40. We have to focus on the games left, try to win as many as possible.”




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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