Scotland midfielder John McGinn told teammate Stephen O’Donnell to aggressively compliment Jack Grealish on his looks during Friday’s crunch Euro 2020 fixture.
England were held by the Scots to a dull 0-0 draw, with McGinn excelling in the middle of the park at Wembley and the visitors leaving feeling unlucky not to leave with three points.
It leaves Steve Clarke’s men with one point, needing to beat Croatia to secure qualification, while the Three Lions have four points and can win the group with victory over the Czech Republic.
Grealish started on the bench in the capital, much to the chagrin of plenty of fans, before replacing Phil Foden in the second half.
The Aston Villa midfielder was nullified by O’Donnell when he came on as England pushed for a winner, despite his best attempts, and it appears as though McGinn had a significant role to play in it.
O’Donnell, who plies his trade for Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership, reveals the Aston Villa midfielder told him to say positive things rather than aggravate the 25-year-old.
“I was just getting a wee bit fed up at that stage of the game, he’d just come on, he was nice and fresh,” O’Donnell told Scotland HQ Live.
“Normally when the fresh wingers come on that’s when you’re a bit tired so I thought ‘I just need to hit him here’, because I was getting fed up of him trying to take the mick out of me so I gave him a wee hit.
“Thankfully John McGinn had given me some tips, he said if he comes on you need to be nibbling in his ear but don’t be critical, be complimentary.
“So the full time he was on I was telling him how good looking he was and I love his calves and asking him how he got his hair to look like that.
“He (McGinn) said if you tell him he’s hopeless or kick him really, really hard, he gets up and gives it back at you. Maybe that was the advantage over Jack Grealish the other night.”
England play the Czechs on Tuesday at 8pm live on talkSPORT, while Scotland are in action at the same time from Hampden Park against former World Cup finalists Croatia.