Seeing Andy Considine make the most of his opportunity at international level has been brilliant.
The Aberdeen defender finally got his chance for Scotland in the Uefa Nations League victories over Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Considine put in two great performances in the games. As fantastic as it was to see him get the chance, it’s been even better to see the 33-year-old play so well.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke has been raving about Considine after both games, which shows just how much of an impression he’s made within the international arena.
There can be few players, if any, who have been capped in recent times that are more deserving than Considine.
He’s been playing at a consistently high level in the Scottish Premiership for the Dons for more than 10 years, but was always overlooked.
Week in, week out, season in, season out, whether at centre-back or left-back, Considine has been so reliable for the Reds.
There’s nothing flashy or fancy about the way he plays – he’s a good, solid, consistent defender.
Considine is the ultimate professional, he’s never let anyone down at Pittodrie and he’s been exactly the same for Scotland.
Under Derek McInnes I think you could count on one hand the number of performances from Considine that have been below-par. His call-up is a lesson to every player to always believe you will get your chance and keep working hard for it.
Considine maybe thought his hopes of playing for Scotland had come and gone, but he’s never stopped working hard, he’s never let his standards drop at Aberdeen and he’s been rewarded.
And make no mistake, in the two games he’s been magnificent. In my opinion, there’s no doubt Considine should be in the squad for next month’s European Championship play-off final and from what Clarke has said it seems he thinks the same.
If the likes of Scott McKenna and Kieran Tierney are available for the crunch clash with Serbia in Belgrade, it may make it harder for Considine to earn a starting spot.
But if he is pitched into the biggest game the national team has had for years, I’m sure he will handle it.
Overall for Scotland it’s been a very positive international break. On the back of reaching the play-off final, the Dark Blues have taken control of Nations League Group B2 by beating Slovakia and the Czechs.
The Czech Republic showed they were a very good side and missed a few good chances, but what Scotland have become under Clarke is a very solid team who are hard to beat, as demonstrated by keeping three clean sheets.
What I’ve seen from Scotland in the last week gives me the optimism we can qualify for next summer’s Euros.
It will be a difficult tie against Serbia, but the Scots are capable of ending the major tournament drought.
Fantastic to see old rivalry between Dons and Tangerines restored
It’s great to have the New Firm derby back and hopefully Aberdeen can resume the rivalry with victory tomorrow.
Dundee United have been in the Championship for four seasons – but, now the Arabs are back in the top-flight, they’ll be keen to put a marker down and show they can compete with the likes of the Dons.
The home defeat to Motherwell aside, the performances from Derek McInnes’s Reds prior to the international break were very good.
It’s those heights they’ll need to hit again at Tannadice to come back up the A90 with three points.
Tomorrow’s fixture is the start of a busy period for Aberdeen, with Premiership clashes against Hamilton and Celtic to come before the Scottish Cup semi-final with the Hoops.
That’s the downside of the international break – it halted the Dons’ momentum.
Now they need to start afresh after the break because there are some big games on the horizon.
Tomorrow’s game is also one of those occasions that makes it even more disappointing fans still can’t get into stadiums.
In normal circumstances, games between Aberdeen and Dundee United are played in raucous atmospheres.
Unfortunately, it will be near silent at Tannadice tomorrow, but the players will be used to that by now.