ROSS Stewart is hopeful that Scotland can build on their good Nations League start against Armenia when they come up against a ‘tough’ Republic of Ireland side.

Following their World Cup qualifying defeat to Ukraine, Steve Clarke’s side got off to the perfect start in their League B Group 1 tie winning 2-0 at Hampden Park thanks to goals in the first half from Anthony Ralston and Scott McKenna.

Sunderland striker Stewart said: “Obviously last week was a disappointment so it was all about showing character to react to that. I thought that boys did that really well. It was a really comfortable victory. It was a really professional victory but the only thing is that we were unlucky not to get another couple of goals.”

It was a memorable night for Stewart who made international his debut coming off the bench in the closing stages of the game. Stepping out onto the turf at the home of Scottish football in front of a packed out crowd carries it’s own weight.

With their next two Nations League games coming away from home, the Black Cats frontman wouldn’t be surprised to see them cover the miles overseas. “They’ve come out and supported us in their numbers again” he continued.

“The boys are very thankful for that and I’ve got no doubt that we’ll see them in Ireland and we’ll probably see them over in Armenia as well. They’ve got a big part in it as well so it’s great to send them home with a victory.”

Republic of Ireland’s start to their Nations League group games got off to a poor start losing 1-0 to Ukraine thanks to Viktor Tsyhankov’s second half goal at the Aviva Stadium. With Stewart wanting to get more minutes in the dark blue of Scotland, he’ll be expecting to come up against an Ireland side with fire in their belly from their recent loss.

“It certainly whets the appetite” Stewart added. “Obviously it’s going to be a tough game away from home.

“They have lost their first game so they will be wanting a reaction as well but we know what we have got in that dressing room. It’s certainly a game that we will be going over there to try and win and hopefully we can do that.”