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Russell revelling in Derby night build-up

SCOTLAND new boy Johnny Russell says he's relishing some battles with a few close friends in Friday's Euro qualifier in Glasgow.

Russell and Dublin lad Jeff Hendrick were on the same side - a winning side - last weekend as they scored two goals each in Derby County's 5-0 thrashing of Wolves.

But on Friday night Russell and his fellow Scots from Derby (Chris Martin and Craig Forsyth) could face up to Hendrick and Richard Keogh, as the Rams defender is in consideration for a place in central defence for Ireland to replace the injured Marc Wilson.

And Hendrick also stands a good chance of starting for Ireland, with injury concerns over James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan.

Friday could be a big night for Russell as he hopes to make his senior Scotland debut but the presence of so many Derby players makes this derby even more attractive, the Scots also preparing to face England in a friendly next week.


"I think any game for your country is special but these games coming up are have a bit extra to them with the local rivalry, especially as I know a few of the boys who we will be up against on Friday," says Russell.

"The England game speaks for itself, and everyone will want to play in that. They'll both be great games but first of all it is a massive game on Friday that we need to get through first," added Russell, who only got the summons from Gordon Strachan after he played a part in that win over Wolves.

"It was a bit of a surprise," Russell said. "The gaffer gave me a call after the game and he asked me if I would join the boys the next days. It was a pretty easy 'yes' for me."