Former Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie today insisted he has no Kazakhstan hangover and is happy to play left-back for Scotland again.
The 28-year-old midfielder was pitched into the full-back role by former national boss Alex McLeish for the Euro 2020 Group I opener in Kazakhstan.
It was a disastrous evening as the Scots suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss that fatally harmed the qualification bid from the group.
Kazakhstan was Shinnie’s first competitive start for Scotland – but he feared it could be his last, admitting “I can’t see myself getting back into the team now” in the aftermath of that defeat.
However, Shinnie insists he has no psychological scars from that disastrous night in Astana.
With left-backs Andy Robertson (Liverpool) and Kieran Tierney (Arsenal) both ruled out, the call could come again for Shinnie.
He said: “The whole team didn’t play great in Kazakhstan and I didn’t play great.
“It was one of those nights. It was the whole team.
“But if I got the chance to play left-back again I would take it. I would look at what I need to do better and try and do it.
“I’ll play wherever the manager wants, I’d play in goals if he wanted me to.
“I want to play as much as I can.
“Naturally I would like to play in the middle because that’s where I have been playing for the last four or five years.
“But if the chance came up to play somewhere else, I would definitely do it.”
Kazakhstan was Shinnie’s last game time for his country, although he had been involved in subsequent squads while at Aberdeen before the summer.
He said: “I’ve been involved in many a bad night in football and will probably have many to come.
“It’s what happens in football.
“You can’t play well in every single game. You are going to have times that test you.
“I had a testing start to my career in Derby, but came through that and now I’m playing well.
“There is nothing still there (from the Kazakhstan loss). I took the criticism at the time.
“You have to get over it and move on.”
So testing was the start to Shinnie’s career at Derby County, he admits he considered moving away from Pride Park.
Aberdonian Shinnie rejected the offer of a new contract with his home city club to sign on with the Rams in the Championship after being sold on the club by then-manager Frank Lampard.
However, he never got to work under the manager who signed him as Lampard moved to former club Chelsea.
Derby appointed former PSV boss Phillip Cocu as their new manager and it was the start of a nightmare spell for Shinnie.
His only game time was in the Carabao Cup win against Scunthorpe and it got worse as he found himself dumped in with the U23 squad in August.
On October 5 his first Championship game time came when starting in a 2-0 defeat of Luton due to an injury crisis.
He grabbed the opportunity with a man of the match performance and has started all five games for Derby since. That form was rewarded with a late call up to the Scotland squad.
He said: “I could never foresee what would happen with Lampard leaving and everything else.
“But there was a stage when I thought if I’m not going to play here then I’ll go and play somewhere else. It’s football and what happens.
“If one manager doesn’t want you, someone else somewhere else will.
“Obviously when the window closed I knew I would be here until January anyway, so it was just a case of getting my head down and working as hard as I could.
“I’ve been in the gym and doing sessions after training.
“It meant I was ready when I got a chance. He (Cocu) wants to play attractive football and we do a lot of passing and moving.
“I guess I had to adapt to that a wee bit. When I wasn’t playing, I was watching and trying to take it all in and getting better in training every day.
“I think all that set me up for being there to take my chance.”
In little over a month Shinnie has progressed from sitting in the stands contemplating his future to becoming a Derby first team regular and sealing a Scotland call-up.
He said: “It was frustrating. Going down to a new club was always going to be difficult, with a new manager coming in and a good squad of players.
“I wasn’t getting any chances.
“I wasn’t even coming off the bench and some games I was watching from the stands.
“It was tough. But I kept my head down and worked as hard as I could to try and force my way in.
“Eventually I got a chance and took it well.”
Scotland will face Cyprus away on Saturday before hosting Kazakhstan at Hampden on Tuesday.
With the Group I qualification hopes over, those ties are effectively preparation for the Euro 2020 play-offs in March.
Shinnie said: “Coming off the back of the San Marino match (6-0 win) you want to build momentum and the only way you can do that is by winning games.
“If we can get three wins everything looks brighter.”