John McGinn admits he was relieved to score against Armenia in the Nations League after being frustrated at recent misses.
The midfielder, who was captain in place of injured Andy Robertson, scored Scotland’s third goal in the 4-1 win in Yerevan, finding the net from six yards.
It was McGinn’s 13th goal in 48 international appearances and the Aston Villa player is the top scorer in the current squad, but his finishing touch had deserted him of late.
Several chances had come and gone in recent matches, with a header against Ukraine in the World Cup play-off a big opportunity missed, and attempts against Republic of Ireland also failing to hit the back of the net.
That made the goal against Armenia all the more welcome and McGinn said the same went for striker Che Adams, who also found the net after Stuart Armstrong’s double had put Scotland in front.
“I’ve been passing up good chances and that’s something I’ve been extremely frustrated about,” he said.
“That frustration was clear in all of the recent games so I was delighted to get one.
“If you speak to any of the front three who played in the game tonight, you had Stu who came in and was man of the match by a mile.
“But myself and Che probably haven’t been firing on all cylinders so that hasn’t helped the squad or the team.
“It’s important that we managed to get ourselves back on the scoresheet. I don’t know who was more relieved, me or Che.”
Scotland’s win came in a hard-fought match where Armenia had two players sent off. Kamo Hovhannisyan was sent off in stoppage time but just before half-time Arman Hovhannisyan received two yellow cards in the space of 10 seconds after tackling Nathan Patterson and then headbutting McGinn.
McGinn said the team had been prepared for Armenia to be overly aggressive.
“It started to get a bit tasty but it was important that we looked after ourselves,” he said.
“A few of their lads lost their heads a little bit as the game was going against them.
“The boys were winding me up saying I was acting a wee bit too dramatic. I didn’t expect him to put his head towards me but it was important that we looked after ourselves. He definitely caught me.
“As a team we had to be careful as the last game at Hampden we saw them getting a wee bit naughty in the last 10 minutes.
“So when you come to places like this you need to be prepared for it.
“Big Scott’s (McTominay) booking aside, we dealt with all that very well.”