New Watford boy Ryan Porteous throws the tag of ‘Scotsman Bobby Moore’

“He’s a lot like Dalkeith Darren Dodds, man,” he said after taking part in Scotland’s training at Lesser Hampden in Glasgow yesterday.

However, a comparison with England’s World Cup-winning captain and legendary West Ham midfielder Moore certainly highlights how well Porteous has fared since moving south in January.

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The former Hiberney man – despite signed manager Slaven Bilic, who was sacked earlier this month and replaced by Chris Wilder – has appeared in all nine of London’s Championship matches since his £500,000 move.

The 23-year-old, who is hoping to start for the national team in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier against Cyprus at Hampden on Saturday, is certainly enjoying the change of scenery. He believes he has developed as a footballer in his short time in the south.

Read more: Scotland assistant Dom Hiam enters before the opening match of Euro 2024

“My first game (against Reading at the Madejski Stadium) couldn’t have gone much better,” he said. “I scored on that and settled in really well after that.

“I play alongside the top midfield halves there and that helps me too. I think I come back to this Scotland squad a better player. I feel like I’ve improved. I’m really enjoying my football again.

Glasgow times:

“Getting me out of my comfort zone has been something I’ve wanted in the last few years. I feel as though you can really move on and improve as a player and as a person as well.

“It’s a physical league because you play from Saturday to Tuesday. Some of the teams you play are quite straight. But I’m used to that from playing in Scotland. I think I was a perfect fit for that style of football.

“Our team likes to get the ball and control possession. It was fun. It was a change I needed in my career, to get me out of my comfort zone and put me in a changing room with a lot of different cultures. I enjoyed that aspect.

“Listen, there are some players in our squad that are top notch like João Pedro and Ismaila Sarr, players who can really influence the game. I feel it’s a step up, but not a step to the point where I’m shocked.”

Porteous, rightly or wrongly, developed a reputation for being a sloppy lawn player and a bit of a fool during his time with his boyhood heroes Hibs. He, too, became a hate figure for supporters of opposition teams, not least Rangers.

He has found playing in the English Championship, where no one has any preconceived notions about him, in recent weeks to be refreshing.

“I feel like it’s more than a clean slate for me,” he said. “I can go back to basics and not worry about anything else. It’s a different ball game for me out there from a personal standpoint. I think that’s why I enjoy it so much.”

Read more: Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes opens up about pneumonia

Porteous, with Scott McKenna and Jack Hendry both missing from the squad due to injuries, was given a very good chance of being named to the Scottish starting line-up to face Cyprus by manager Steve Clarke.

He acquitted himself well in his international debut against Ukraine in Poland in September and helped his country score the draw they needed to top the Nations League division. He enjoyed silencing his many critics that evening. But now he is eager to build on that offer and get more exposure for his country.

He said, “I am a confident player, and I am a self-confident player.” “That game, those first caps, was about silencing people if I wanted to. I had to prove to some that I could play at that level.

“I knew I could do it and the manager believed in me too. The manager said many times I was ready and he had no doubts when it came to me. Playing alongside the top players helps me and it was a night I will remember forever.

“If I needed to prove anything, I hope I did it in that match. It was a proving point for me. But it was only one match and I wouldn’t go far.”

“This is the best Scottish team we’ve had in a long time and I want to learn from these players because I’m still learning my trade. I just want to come out and do myself justice. My long-term goal is to win as many games as possible. There’s no feeling that can compare when you’re playing.” to your country.”

Glasgow times:

Porteous has handled quite a few great strikers during his time at Watford – but his Scottish team-mate Lyndon Dykes may have been the toughest striker he faced.

There were suspicions the QPR player might play again this season when he was taken to hospital with a bout of pneumonia in January. But his compatriot is happy to confirm that he has made a full recovery.

Read more: Revealing why Scotland’s training base switched amid ‘health risks’ at Oryam

He said, “He was throwing himself.” “He was a handful. It was good to see him again because there was probably a little bit of a trepidation about whether he was going to set up this camp. He’s a big player for us. I hope he can come back at full speed and get between the goals again.”

A crowd of 50,000 is set to flock to Hampden for the Group A match between Scotland and Cyprus on Saturday afternoon, Porteous knows, with tougher fixtures against Spain on Tuesday and then Norway and Georgia after that looming large. Victory is vital.

“It is important that we put the points on the board,” he said. “It’s a tough group, but we’re in a great place and we have two home games to start. It’s an exciting time to be with the national team and hopefully we can continue that.”

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