Ferguson hopes lessons from Italian job can help boost Scotland hopes

The Bologna midfielder acknowledges 'healthy competition' for a place in Steve Clarke's team.

Lewis Ferguson hopes lessons from Italian job can help boost Scotland hopes SNS Group

Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson has detailed the progress he has made after a season in Serie A but admits there’s still “healthy competition” that may stand between him and a starting spot for Scotland.

The 23-year-old moved to Italy from Aberdeen last summer and has been a success at Bologna, with his performances seeing him linked with a move to bigger clubs already.

Ferguson helped the club to ninth place in Serie A, with a late winner against Lecce ensuring that spot, Bologna’s highest in over a decade.

Seven goals in 32 games showed he has found his feet in the elite league but the midfielder says he’s improved continually during his time abroad.

“It’s been a good end to the season for me,” he said. “I scored three goals in my last three games, so I have a really positive mindset coming into this camp. I have had a great season, really enjoyed it.

“I think on the pitch I have improved. I have come out of my comfort zone, I think you need to do that to improve.

“Tactically has been a really big one because Italian football is really tactical, there is a lot of detail. But I think everything, in terms of technical stuff I have improved massively because of the way the manager wants us to play. It’s total football.

“In Serie A you are coming up against some top-level sides, some top players.

“The standard of the league is really high, as you have seen in European competition this year. All three finals had Italian teams. Although they lost, it shows you the standard of the league is really high.

“When you come up against good players, you improve as a player, if you can take bits away from it and learn from it.”

Along with adapting to the demands of his manager, Ferguson has also had to get used to living in another country and all that entails.

“Off the pitch I have grown as a person as well,” he said. “When you move country, new culture, you grow as a person as well.

“I am still learning the language. It’s difficult but I am trying. I can understand the manager now when he is speaking to me, which is probably the most important thing.

“In terms of the changing room, it probably makes it harder for me to learn because all the lads speak really good English. So whenever someone speaks to me, they speak to me in English.

“But I am still trying to learn and I think eventually I will get there. I’m good at understanding. Speaking is difficult but I will get there eventually.”


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Having made a splash in his debut season in Italy, the six-times-capped midfielder could sign off for the summer with further appearances for his country. Ferguson is part of the squad travelling to play Norway on Saturday and then face Georgia at Hampden on Tuesday.

And though he is flying high, he admits that with players like Callum McGregor, John McGinn and Scott McTominay in the squad, he may have to wait before becoming a regular starter.

“It’s healthy, the manager will want that sort of competition,” Ferguson said, “Especially in midfield, it’s a really, really high level, some top players playing at the top level for us and their clubs as well.

“It’s difficult to break in but I know I need to improve and I need to keep getting better. I think I have improved over the last year and I just need to keep doing that, keep working away.

“Obviously you need to be patient when the guys in front of you have played at a really high level for Scotland. I will work as hard as I possibly can and try and catch the manager’s eye in training.”

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