Willie: Sam can be the man for Scotland

WILLIE Donachie is backing Ipswich new boy Sam Parkin to bridge an international gap of almost 22 years.Assistant boss Donachie believes his fellow countryman can become the first Town player to win Scotland honours since club legend John Wark back in the early '80s.

WILLIE Donachie is backing Ipswich new boy Sam Parkin to bridge an international gap of almost 22 years.

Assistant boss Donachie believes his fellow countryman can become the first Town player to win Scotland honours since club legend John Wark back in the early '80s.

Wark's last game for his country before being transferred to Liverpool was in East Germany in November 1983. He won a total of 29 caps.

Glasgow-born Donachie, who was capped 35 times, said: “I would really love Sam to go on and play for Scotland - and I think he can.

“It is still very early days, of course, but I am very encouraged by what I have seen so far.

“Sam's a great lad. He's technically very good and at the moment he just has to get sharper and develop a better understanding with the rest of the players.

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“We have very high hopes for him. He's not fulfilled his potential yet and there is an awful lot more to come from him.

“I see him in training and he's just a very good footballer. It's hard to put into words, but he's not an athlete, a worker or a kicker - he is definitely a footballer.”

Ex-Chelsea youngster Parkin scored 73 goals in three seasons with Swindon to earn his chance at a higher level.

Ipswich paid £450,000 to pip other Championship clubs for his signature and Donachie is unconcerned that the 24-year-old failed to score in Town's first three pre-season games.

He said: “I have absolutely no doubt that Sam will get goals - and plenty of them - for us.

“In our first warm-up game he only had 45 minutes and I suppose he must have missed five scoring chances, but at least he was in the right place.

“It takes time when you move clubs. He not only has to work on his partnership with fellow striker Nicky Forster, who is also new to us, but he also has to get a relationship going with the rest of the players.

“They have to look at Sam and see what sort of player he is, what he's good at and what he likes, and it will improve with every game they play together.

“Sam is the type of lad who listens intently to what he is told. He is stepping up a level and, while he is prepared to work really hard, his sharpness still isn't right.

“But it will come. I have complete confidence in him. Working with him every day, I can see all his attributes and he has plenty to offer.

“He is not simply a big target man. He has excellent movement and a fine first touch, plus he's a good finisher.

“The thing I want him to do is to make us better. I am sure he will succeed at that and his goals can only help if he wants to play for Scotland.”

Parkin, whose mother is from Dundee, has already had a taste of the international scene under new boss Walter Smith after being picked alongside other young hopefuls in the Scotland Future squad.

Donachie added: “Scotland could do with a regular goalscorer. In fact, though it hurts to admit it, we could do with just about everything at the moment.

“But I don't want to put extra pressure on Sam, because there is enough already as he looks to prove he is at home at Championship level.

“I like what I have seen so far and I know he will get better as he settles in at Ipswich. The goals will come, which will give him confidence and alert Walter.”

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