Scotland can head into the European Championship with confidence.
Drawing 2-2 with the Netherlands in a friendly on Wednesday night was positive ahead of our return to a major finals this summer.
Steve Clarke’s squad is strong and the way he has moulded the side is very encouraging.
A strong pool of players
There is quality throughout the side.
Goals have often been a problem for the national team. However, with Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams and Kevin Nisbet, Scotland have three strikers who provide a serious goal threat.
Overall within the squad there is probably a pool of 18 or 20 who are all of similar level, which means Clarke can make changes and not weaken the team.
Group D won’t be easy against the Czech Republic, England and Croatia, but I think the Scots will have a real go and we’ve got a good chance of getting out of the section.
Given that in all our appearances at major tournaments we’ve never managed to get beyond the group stage, that would be a great achievement.
The first game against the Czechs will be important and taking something from that could be crucial.
But I feel England are definitely beatable as well and, if Scotland play to their strengths, they are capable of causing Croatia problems.
The players and staff should be confident and optimistic and, with four of the sides that finish third in the group progressing to the last-16, one win may be enough.
This is potentially a wonderful opportunity and the Scots appear capable of rising to the occasion.
The performance in the friendly against the Netherlands was very encouraging.
They played a lot of good football and put the Dutch under pressure.
The Scots scored two excellent goals, the first coming from good pressing and the second from a really neat move, with Andy Robertson’s cross tucked away by Nisbet.
What also made the display impressive was the players that were missing.
Team-mates John McGinn, Grant Hanley, Adams, David Marshall, Stephen O’Donnell and Nathan Patterson were identified as close contacts and were also missing.
Taking that into account, what is clear with the squad Clarke has selected for the Euros is that we have depth.
Too often in recent times a lack of depth has proved costly.
But against Holland Clarke was able to make changes and it wasn’t weakening the side.
On another night, Scotland could’ve won. The free-kick from which Memphis Depay equalised late on shouldn’t have been given.
Overall there are a lot of positives to take from the fixture and, after Sunday’s game against Luxembourg, all the attention will turn to the Euros.