James Forrest's post-Netherlands comments after respectable draw
(Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Memphis Depay completed a brace late on to salvage a draw for the Netherlands against Steve Clarke's Scotland.

In preparation for their first major tournament since 1998, the Tartan Army gave a great account of themselves, twice leading through goals from Jack Hendry and Kevin Nisbet in an overall positive outing. 

Hendry's surprisingly deft finish in the first half was matched by Depay from a volleyed effort in the first period.

Andy Robertson typically put it on a plate for Nesbit's first international goal after the break, but a minute from time, the Dutch were afforded a slice of fortune with their second of the night as Depay converted a dubiously awarded free kick. 

Here's what James Forrest had to say on his side's first exhibition of two ahead of the European Championships, speaking to the Scotland National Team media.

  • Evaluation of the game

“I think everyone’s put in a good shift tonight, the ones that started and the ones that came on- everyone was together and knew what to do... 89 minutes in and you’re 2-1 up and it is a bit gutting how they did get that equaliser... The boys were gutted in the changing room there but we still got a draw against Holland, so that shows that we did play well." 

Scotland's showing was an encouraging one for the supporting faithful ahead of the European Championships.

Aside from Hendry and Nesbit's goals, the likes of Kieran Tierney and Lyndon Dykes threatened Tim Krul's net in the first period in particular.

David Turnbull could have had one of his own on his debut, seeing a trademark placed effort drift wide and missing the chance to capitalise on Nesbit's goal in the second half. 

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It sadly wasn't meant to be for the travelling Scots as Memphis Depay's quickfire replies muted any potential celebrations for a famous victory. 

The second of which came in somewhat controversial fashion, with the soon-to-be out-of-contract Lyon forward going down after minimal contact from Jack Hendry outside of the area.

The Dutchman put away the set piece emphatically, levelling the tie up and denying a pre-Euros shot-in-the-arm for Scotland.

  • On selection issues due to Covid

“Obviously with (John) Fleck testing positive, that was the only downfall. But apart from that, training has been really good and it’s been good getting back in amongst the boys, especially for myself. I think its gone really well, and tonight’s another positive. We’ll look forward to the next couple of days and the Luxembourg game as well."

An incredible seven Scotland players did not travel after John Fleck's positive coronavirus test on Tuesday, despite not showing any symptoms.

Fellow internationals David Marshall, Grant Hanley, John McGinn, Che Adams, Stephen O'Donnell and Nathan Patterson were ordered to stay in Scotland's training base in Spain, presumably after coming into contact with the Sheffield United midfielder as none of the aforementioned tested positive.

The precaution left boss Steve Clarke with just 19 available players for selection. 

Such a scare will not be a welcome one for the Scotland camp in such close proximity to some of the nation's biggest games in over two decades.

  • Personal achievements

“It's unbelievable. From getting named in the squad last week, I’ve been working hard for months to get back involved. To finally be out there, starting and playing and obviously getting a good result with the boys, I was delighted to contribute.”

Wednesday night's selection was Forrest's first since their UEFA Nations League matchup with familiar opponents Israel back in September 2020. 

The 29-year-old was out for most of Celtic's turgid season after undergoing ankle surgery two months after his last appearance for his country. 

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Forrest was able to make sporadic contributions to his club's run-in, contributing a goal against Livingston in six appearances at the season's close for the Boys in Green.

The pacy wide man will hope to feature more regularly for Steve Clarke, whose experience for his country may have seemed to carry weight in his selection following such a devastating injury. 

  • On debutantes David Turnbull and Billy Gilmour...

“I’m delighted for him and Billy (Gilmour) coming on as well, Kev (Nisbet) getting his first goal for Scotland as well. There’s so many positives tonight, all the lads that played tonight did really well and it’s good for the manager."

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David Turnbull and Billy Gilmour made their first appearances after the latter of which joined up with the squad late.

Gilmour continued in the same delayed fashion on the night, arriving off the bench and joining proceedings in the final ten minutes while Turnbull made the starting eleven. 

Gilmour was able to pick up his first cap before his first senior training session. Quite remarkable!

Kevin Nisbet bagged his first Scotland goal in the process, adding to his fourteen league goals for Hibernian this season as the rumour mill regarding a move to Celtic Park continues.