Billy Gilmour shocked by sloppy Scotland as midfielder lost for words after World Cup misfortune


Heartbroken Billy Gilmour admits he’s still trying to figure out what went wrong in Hampden as Scotland’s date with fate ended in disaster.

The young Chelsea star dreamed of playing in the desert sun this winter.

But he’s now left to watch the World Cup in Qatar from his couch after Steve Clarke’s side were swept away by a Ukrainian side amid emotional turmoil.

The cards were supposed to play against Oleksandr Petrakov’s men, their preparations thrown into chaos by the armed conflict sweeping their homeland.

Decamped to Slovenia, their preparations were limited to three friendlies against clubs Borussia Mönchengladbach, Empoli and Rijeka as they prepared for the game of their lives.

Yet it was Scotland that crumbled at the worst possible moment as their qualifying hopes tumbled down the slopes of Mount Florida.

When asked what was wrong, Gilmour, 20, replied, “To be honest, I really don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out myself.

“It’s hard to take at the moment, we just weren’t there. It was like that.

“We had glimpses of the game when we got our foot on the ball and started playing, but that just wasn’t the case.

“Of course, we are all disappointed. We wanted to go to the World Cup and we want to go to the Euros.

“It’s the next step, we have to look forward to the Euros and that’s where we want to be.

“Has the opportunity come to us? No I don’t think that’s it. We knew what we had to do, we had to come here and show up, but that night we just didn’t do our best.

“No, Ukraine definitely didn’t surprise us. We knew they were a good team, we analyzed them and we see that they have good players.

“They were the best team of the night.”

Callum McGregor scores to make it 2-1

Ukraine still has one last step to take before it can book its own ticket to December’s world showpiece.

They now travel south to Cardiff for a winning shootout with Robert Page’s Wales.

It was a clash Gilmour hoped to involve in Scotland.

Now he admits he will find it difficult to connect without suffering regrets.

He said, “Yeah, it’s disappointing, difficult.

“It’s one of the lowest in my career so far and I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

“I hope next time it will be different”

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“I’m going to watch the game but I’m just going to be disappointed it’s not us.”

A tough season for Gilmour took another bitter turn.

He spent the season on loan at Norwich but had to endure being booed as Carrow Road support backfired in a loss to Crystal Palace in December.

Things didn’t improve much as Dean Smith’s side were eventually relegated from the Premier League with four games remaining.

If that wasn’t painful enough, there is now the agony of another failed World Cup campaign for a nation that has spent 24 years locked out of the world’s biggest spectacle.

That’s a lot to take for such a youngster, but Gilmour has vowed to use the pain of his miserable campaign as fuel to inspire Scotland to future glories.

It won’t take long to ruminate on frustrations, however, with Armenia in town next Wednesday for the start of this year’s Nations League campaign – a tournament that could provide a backdoor to Euro 2024 and a chance of redemption after last night’s failure. .

Scotland's Billy Gilmour is seen during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier match between Scotland and Moldova at Hampden Park
Billy Gilmour

Gilmour added: “Yeah, it’s been a tough season personally, but a lot of experience has been gained.

“We’ll just see what happens next season, I’ll try to start.

“It’s definitely hard to take. We prepared for this moment and it was not to be.

“I don’t think we did as well as we should have as a team.

“We’ve come this far, and now we have to focus on the next campaign.

“We have a great team spirit here. Of course, tonight we are going to be emptied, we are all emptied and the locker room is calm.

“We have to pick ourselves up, we have a good group of boys, good players, and we want to do well for Scotland.”

“We have to use that as fuel. I think that’s what we’re all going to take in the next games to come.

“We have to show that we are not just going to participate in one tournament, we are going to participate in all of them.

“Will we be better for the experience? We will see in the long term. With a bit of luck.”


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