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Saints pair are no longer the boys in blue
6:00am Wednesday 5th March 2014 in Sport
SAM Gallagher and Matt Targett will tonight swap the dark blue of Scotland for the white kit and Three Lions of England.
The Saints pair both appeared for Scotland’s under-19s in a friendly against Iceland at Stirling last September.
Centre half Targett started the 1-1 draw while striker Gallagher came on as a second half substitute.
Now, though, both are preparing to make their England under-19 debuts against Turkey at Chester alongside Saints colleagues Calum Chambers and Harrison Reed.
If the Iceland game had been a competitive match, Gallagher and Targett would not have been allowed to change allegiance and represent England.
Scottish FA performance director Mark Wotte, the former Saints boss, and Under-19s coach Ricky Sbragia – who introduced Devon-born Gallagher into his youth set-up two years ago – had been hopeful Gallagher would stay with the Scots.
Sbragia and Gallagher spoke a few days after Gallagher had made an impressive first Premier League start against Arsenal in January.
At the time Sbragia was confident Gallagher could step up to Billy Stark’s Under-21 side when the Scots face Hungary at Tannadice tonight.
Back in November, Gallagher gave no impression of being unsettled ahead of a Scotland get-together.
He said at the time: “I’m happy with Scotland. I would just like to kick on and try to work my way up the age groups there.”
But Gallagher’s progress at Saints – he has made one start and nine sub appearances this term – appears to have changed his mind.
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