Scotland legend Sir Kenny Dalglish believes Andy Considine epitomises the attitude needed to secure Euro 2020 qualification.
Having made his Scotland debut last month, Aberdeen defender Considine is in national manager Steve Clarke’s squad for Thursday’s Euro play-off final against Serbia in Belgrade.
Victory would secure qualification for the finals of a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.
Scotland’s most-capped player Sir Kenny was impressed by the pride Considine showed in playing for his country and the way he grabbed his chance.
Considine, 33, impressed when starting in wins against Slovakia and Czech Republic in the Nations League last month when earning his first caps.
Sir Kenny insists Considine’s reaction to realising his international dream gave a valuable insight into the spirit and unity within the Scotland camp which has taken them to within one win of ending a 23-year major tournament drought.
Sir Kenny, 69, said: “The reaction from Andy Considine when he got his first cap made you feel proud – that he came out and spoke about how important it was for him to be given a Scottish cap.
“He showed just how much that meant to him.
“That was reassuring and it also gave you a wee insight into what it’s like inside that Scotland camp when they go and join up for matches.
“If everybody sings from the same hymn sheet then we’ve got a good chance.”
Considine impressed at the left of a three-man defence in Nations League wins over Slovakia (1-0) and the Czech Republic (1-0) at Hampden last month.
Scotland have registered three consecutive clean sheets and Dalglish, who played in the 1974, ‘78 and ‘82 World Cups, insists national manager Clarke has had to sacrifice his attacking instincts to make the Scots hard to beat.
Sir Kenny worked with Clarke at Liverpool when he made him assistant during his second spell as manager at Anfield.
He said: “Stevie proved himself at Kilmarnock.
“He was twice voted manager of the year by the football writers and he won another one, so out of four competitions he won three.
“He’s doing a similar job with Scotland. To win, he is prepared to sacrifice his own belief of not to be as disciplined defensively as we are, although obviously he doesn’t want to lose goals.
“He’s put the foundations in that defensively we’re going to be sound and see if we can get something at the other end.
“It might not be as free-flowing and attractive as everybody would like – I’m sure Stevie would love it to be like that as well.
“He’s playing to the strengths – we have better defenders than attackers and, if we don’t lose a goal, we’ve got a chance to score at the other end.
“You’ve got to admire him for the way it has worked and also admire the players for believing in it and that is the strength of the team.
“I’m sure there won’t be many too unhappy if we are not free flowing but solid defensively if we go to Serbia and win. The most important thing is that the players have the belief in each other to do what they’re doing.
“If they continue to do that then they have a chance of winning the match against Serbia.
“If we get to the Euros it will be a fantastic achievement and one that everybody will enjoy.”
Clarke has also led Scotland to the top of their Nations League Group B table, four points ahead of the second-placed Czech Republic.
They face Slovakia away on Sunday before a trip to Israel next Wednesday in a bid to win the group.
Clarke can call upon stars operating in the English top-flight like captain Andy Robertson, who is a Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup winner with Liverpool.
Sir Kenny, who won three European Cups with Liverpool, said: “Steve’s got better players now than most of the other managers had.
“There are more available now who play at a higher level than the previous managers had.
“There are a lot of things going in the right direction.”