ANTHONY RALSTON was a bit-part player for Celtic during the league and Cup double-winning season.

His first-team starts didn’t reach double figures as he played back-up to Alistair Johnston in the No.2 slot.

However, Ralston is poised to make his third successive Euro 24 appearance when Scotland take on Hungary in tomorrow’s 8pm kick-off in Stuttgart.

The Scots still have hopes of gatecrashing the next stage for the first time in history after recovering from their 5-1 walloping from hosts Germany in the competition’s opening encounter eight days ago in Munich.

BRAVEHEART…Anthony Ralston stays on alert in the 2-2 draw with Finland at Hampden earlier this month before heading to Germany for Euro 24.

A spirited performances in the 1-1 stalemate with Switzerland in Cologne on Wednesday has brought optimism to Steve Clarke’s squad.

Hoops double-act Ralston and captain Callum McGregor are ready to play their part with Greg Taylor and James Forrest waiting in the wings as the Scots eye reaching the next stage.

Former Celtic goal hero Chris Sutton admits he rates the spirit of never-say-die Ralston who has never shirked from accepting responsibility at club or country level.

The one-time England international striker said: “He’s taken some stick after his part in the Swiss goal the other night, but he was brutally unlucky.

“It just happened to fall right in the path of Xherdan Shaqiri, but the finish was out of this world. It was an error, but the punishment was brutal.

“I’ve said before, I love Ralston’s attitude and spirit. He only started eight games for Celtic last term, but he refuses to hide.”

SCOTLAND THE RAVE…Anthony Ralston celebrates scoring in the 2-0 win over Armenia two years ago.

Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “His team-mates didn’t make it easy for him the other night, either.

“The pass from Grant Hanley put him under severe pressure and Jack Hendry has constantly put him on the back foot in this competition so far by playing balls either behind him or with not enough pace.

“It’s been a thankless task for him, but if he’s asked to go again, he’ll give everything, as usual.

“Scotland have a chance against Hungary. If you had asked most fans, this is a scenario they’d have accepted before a ball was kicked.”

Ralston has already won 11 international caps while claiming one goal, an effort in a 2-0 win over Armenia at Hampden in June 2022.

An action replay tomorrow night would be most welcome!


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