JOHN MCGINN has admitted the pain of the World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine fuelled the Scotland squad to victory in the Nations League.

The stand-in skipper insisted the players owed Steve Clarke, the Tartan Army and themselves a huge performance.

And they delivered with a win to move top of the Nations League group ahead of a crucial match against Ireland on Saturday.

"We needed it, the summer hurt us and it hurt us badly," said the Aston Villa midfielder.

"Tonight we had to get back to what we've been doing well, being horrible to play against, grafting, showing a bit of desire.

"We worked and worked, Ukraine are a really good team they proved that in the summer but we got goals at good times and it's a huge win for us.

"We know we underperformed in the summer, we can make as many excuses as we want but we didn't turn up.

"We owed the manager and supporters a performance and most importantly we owed ourselves a performance.

"We knew how important it was to get a result tonight. We didn't turn up in Dublin so we need to make sure we turn up in Glasgow.

"We are a top team and it's about time we started to show it and thankfully we did tonight."

McGinn netted the opener in the 3-0 win and was thrilled to be back in amongst the goals after a difficult spell in recent times.

He explained: "It's been a tough time for me personally on the pitch but I've got the self-belief there, I was just so relieved when that goal went in. Hopefully back on the goal trial for country and for my club as well."