CELTIC captain Callum McGregor tonight hailed Rangers right back Nathan Patterson for his stunning display in the Scotland win over Moldova that secured a Qatar 2022 play-off place.

The Ibrox defender opened the scoring in the Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau in the first-half with his first international goal and then set up Che Adams for his strike in the second-half.

Central midfielder McGregor was impressed with how the 20-year-old, who only made his first start for his country back in September, performed in the must-win Group F fixture.

“He’s been absolutely first class,” he said. “You can tell he’s a real talent – even from the first day he trained with us in the summer. 

“You could see his quality, his athleticism. And it’s great to see him make such a big impact, getting off the mark with a goal. 

“He needs to just keep his head down and keep working hard. Other experienced boys will keep him on the right track, keep him honest.

“But he’s already made a great start to his international career. He’s been excellent.”

Meanwhile, McGregor revealed he was unsurprised that his old Celtic team mate Craig Gordon had saved a penalty from Vadim Rata with nine minutes remaining.

“He’s like Peter Pan, isn’t he?” he said. “I know Craig’s quality. I’ve played with him for many, many years. He has the quality and he always seems to make great saves in huge games.  

“It was another important moment for us in the campaign – and he comes up trumps again. For someone like me, I know what he’s capable of.  As he’s getting older, he just seems to be getting better.”

McGregor thinks that Scotland will go into the Qatar 2022 play-offs next year with belief after beating Israel and Serbia on penalties last year to book their place at the Euro 2020 finals.

“It’s exactly the same play-off system as for the Euros,” he said. “So we take confidence from the fact that we managed to get through those with big performances. 

“That’s what this group can deliver. We need to just look forward to Denmark on Monday and, when the play-offs come around, be ready for those. 

“There have been difficult moments in qualification. I think it’s great the way the boys have bounced back. We had a difficult night in Denmark, against a team of real class, who have shown that at Euro 2020. We need to be bang at it and at our best to get a result on Monday.”