Hull City v Tottenham: New Scots hero is taking grounded approach

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ANDREW ROBERTSON may be flavour of the month for club and country at the minute, but do not think for one moment that notions of stardom will go straight to his head.

Hull City fans can rest assured that the Scot is simply not the type and, for that, Steve Bruce will be eternally grateful.

Tigers' Andrew Robertson.

Tigers' Andrew Robertson.

Despite only signing him in the summer from Dundee United, it is crystal-clear that the Tigers manager already thinks the world of him.

You suspect not just because of his growing status as one of the most accomplished young left-sided defenders in Britain either, but because of his down-to-earth character as well.

Robertson is the sort of unassuming lad whom many seasoned managers would say that they would be happy for their daughters to bring home and marry. The type you do not have to worry about away from the pitch and who are firmly rooted in reality.

That could be garnered from Tuesday night.

Given his exploits in finding the net against England for the first time for his country in Tuesday’s friendly at Celtic Park, many in his shoes, especially at such a tender footballing age, would have felt flushed with success.

But Robertson, 20, hoping to line up in tomorrow’s televised encounter with visiting Tottenham Hotspur, offered a different slant – namely that he would have gladly swapped his goal for a clean sheet.

Given his predilection for being self-critical, his sense of pride at his goal was skewed by what he saw as an error in the lead-up to Wayne Rooney making it 2-0 to the English.

Robertson, whose late goal caused a few flutters in the England ranks, before the Three Lions grabbed a late third in a 3-1 victory, said: “It was a weird one. It was obviously a massive goal to score against England but, overall, it was a disappointing performance, so it was hard to enjoy it.

“Don’t get me wrong when it hit the back of the net a lot of things came out, passion being one of them, and to celebrate it with Johnny (Russell) another ex-Dundee United player, was great.

“But we were more focused on getting back to the halfway line and getting back in the game.”

Acknowledging that even at a young age, he is his own harshest critic, he added: “I am. I know I need to improve.

“Probably a normal person would just be happy to score against England, but I should have done better for the first two goals.

“I would swap that goal for a clean sheet any day of the week.

“I have always been like that. You might get ahead of yourself if you always look at the positives, there are always negatives and it is important to pick them out and work on them.”

Not getting ahead of himself, then. Which is perhaps what you would expect from someone who was plying his trade at Glasgow minnows Queen’s Park just a few years back, while working part-time as a ticket seller for a variety of events at Hampden Park.

Now he is likely to be one of the main attractions.

Further evidence to Robertson’s grounded nature could be found in the aftermath to his exploits at Parkhead – he visited his former school the next day.

Keeping an even keel is something that has been drilled into him by his family and two influences in his burgeoning career, Bruce and Gordon Strachan.

He said: “I went back to my old school for the first time since Primary seven and it was nice to see a few familiar faces and show how far you have come.

“It was nice to put a smile on the kids’ faces and just get home, see the family and things like that. My face was all over the back pages after the goal, so people were staring a wee bit more, but you don’t take any notice of it.

“Mum and dad are brilliant and my brother as well, they keep me level-headed. My friends, too.

“When I go out with them, they are protective and take you away from football which is what you need as it can get on top of you.

“They look out for me in case anything goes wrong. That is what good friends do and I would do the same for them.”

On the influence of his managers for club and country, Robertson could not be more grateful and he believes it is no coincidence that his eye-catching start to his Tigers career has been allied to settling quickly in his new surroundings in East Yorkshire.

He added: “The gaffer here has been brilliant since day one. He helped me move in and settle in to the squad and that always helps.

“Maybe if I was working under another manager, it might not have happened so smoothly. But he has been there to talk to me since I walked through the front door.

“The Scotland manager checks in on me, too. I am working under two great managers.”

One thing is for sure, if Robertson keeps producing for club and country, then the big boys might just start to beat a path to Bruce’s door in the not too distant future, although the young Scot’s only concern is with Hull City matters.

Once again, that message will represent music to the ears of his manager, who rightfully believes he has signed a good ’un.

On his performances possibly attracting interest from bigger clubs, Robertson said: “I have only just moved into my house here, I am happy.

“I am just stepping into the squad, I am not looking to move any time soon.

“It is nice if people are saying that because it shows I have done well, but I am not looking to go anywhere.

“My focus is on Hull and doing well for them this season, securing the Premier League spot and then climbing the table.”

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