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Anya's pride after Scotland debut

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07 Sep 2013 16:01:53

Anya's pride after Scotland debut

Ikechi Anya believes he is ready to progress as an international player after making his Scotland debut against Belgium.

The Watford player came off the bench just before the hour mark in a wide-left position as Gordon Strachan's side chased an equaliser against the Belgians at Hampden.

And despite the 2-0 defeat, which left Scotland bottom of Group A and Belgium on the verge of a place at the World Cup finals, Anya took encouragement from his first taste of international football.

The 25-year-old, who was called up to the squad for the first time, told Press Association Sport: "It was amazing. From the moment I got there to the moment we were singing the national anthem I had goosebumps. It was a really good day bar the result.

"Belgium are a very good team. They are going to the World Cup and I'm with Watford in the Championship so it was a step-up, but I feel like I'm doing all right in training with the boys.

"There are a few Premiership and Championship players there and I think under the tutelage of the manager I can progress and improve furthermore."

Anya made an early impact when he got round the outside of the Belgian defence and whipped in a ball that Shaun Maloney diverted just over the bar.

"The gaffer has given me a lot of confidence, he wants us to run with the ball, he wants us to attack players and commit players and I think that's one of my attributes," he said. "I tried to do that when I got on the pitch.

"I'm equally happy both left and right. At Watford we play with wing-backs and I'm normally a wing-back. They expect you to get up and down because I'm a fit lad.

"Obviously here I need to learn to tuck in a bit more sometimes, which I'm sure the gaffer will have a word with me about, but I think I did all right."


PA

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