Hearing the news that Billy Gilmour would be missing for Scotland tonight was a huge disappointment.
He’s a wonderful young player and showed just how important he will be for the national team in the future.
However, it’s not the end of the world.
And it certainly isn’t the end of Scotland’s chances against Croatia.
I still fancy us to win at Hampden to go through.
Losing a central midfielder like Gilmour won’t change that belief.
Maybe if we had a player like Gareth Bale or a goalscorer like the Czech Republic have in Patrik Shick, I would be worried.
But Gilmour isn’t the type of midfielder who will be scoring lots of goals or setting them up too much.
He has real talent but I think we’ve got enough in the squad to compensate for his absence.
We all know central midfield is where the Scotland squad has most quality.
Now it’s up to Steve Clarke to pick the right replacement.
What will be the hardest thing to do for the manager is get the balance right in the middle of the park again.
I think that’s what worked best at Wembley.
Gilmour complemented Callum McGregor and John McGinn really well in the middle.
So much so, that England just weren’t able to control the game the way they like to.
Options to choose from
My preference would be to move Scott McTominay back into midfield and bring in Liam Cooper or Jack Hendry again at the back.
What Clarke will want is a continuation of the performance from Friday.
We played really well the other night and it certainly wasn’t a one-man performance from Gilmour that kept us in the tournament.
We have to remember that, as tough a blow as losing the Chelsea kid is.
Moving McTominay means making just one change but the Manchester United man, for me, is best suited to fill the role performed by Gilmour so well at Wembley.
There are different options like Stuart Armstrong or Ryan Christie, players with real energy that Clarke may prefer to bring in against Croatia.
However, my money is on McTominay.
I think that might also make our defence stronger.
The Man U man is a very good player but isn’t a natural centre-back and there are times he gets caught out of position or doing things a central defender doesn’t.
England didn’t make the most of that but Croatia could with the likes of Luka Modric feeding Ivan Perisic.
We also musn’t forget how good tonight’s opponents can be either.
They may be missing a couple of key men from the last World Cup but they are still a real threat.
Where I think we can hurt them is with our energy.
Watching them against England I don’t think they had the legs to hurt Gareth Southgate’s side.
If Scotland can match the intensity of Friday night, I think we’ll be heading for the knockout stages.
Benjamin Siegrist bid is just the start at Tannadice
Dundee United knocking back a bid for goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist is just the start of things.
I think the Swiss goalie will be very sought-after this summer.
Clubs all around Scotland and England are screaming out for a good goalkeeper and Siegrist most certainly is that.
Really consistent, he has all the physical and mental attributes you’d want in a keeper.
It’s also a good sign that United won’t be accepting any old offer for their man.
It’s been made pretty clear during the current regime that players have prices, the Tangerines are willing to sell.
But only if the terms are right from their point of view.
I expect there to be plenty more bids coming in for the Tannadice No 1 and there may be more for others in the squad, too.
But United seem confident in their recruitment department that they can replace anybody who leaves.
For new head coach Tam Courts, though, it’s a tricky situation to start your tenure with.
Will he have Siegrist? Will Lawrence Shankland/Calum Butcher/Mark Reynolds/Ryan Edwards still be there?
I don’t envy that job of putting plans in place with all that uncertainty around key players.
It’s the unknown for United that’s a problem right now.
Courts will be learning loads already in his first couple of weeks.
Charlie Adam won’t be satisfied at Dundee yet
I wasn’t surprised to see Charlie Adam named Championship Player of the Season this week.
It’s a little after the campaign actually finished but better late than never I guess!
Dundee are already into pre-season training and Adam will be determined to help the team get off to a good start.
He’s led them to the Premiership once more but ,the type of player he is, he won’t be satisfied with just that.
It’s great for the club to get another award as well – big-time players like Charlie bring that and things are really positive at Dens.