Winger Ryan Fraser says the “togetherness” of the Scotland squad can propel them to Euro 2020 qualification – without the need for a play-off.
The Bournemouth man took his impressive club form in the English Premier League on to the international stage in the wins over Albania and Israel by grabbing his first goal for his country in the Balkans before setting up the third goal in the 3-2 home win over the Israelis.
Alex McLeish’s squad, after a number of call-offs, has a youthful feel to it these days and Fraser says that has its good points and bad points.
He said: “In patches the lack of experience shows how it can be good and in patches it shows how it can be bad.
“We did well to go 3-1 up and then there was a little bit of inexperience to concede the goal and then it was nervous at the end.
“It’s not nice in that sense – but everyone being young and ambitious helps with people going forward and scoring goals.
“I think we scored more goals in the two games than Scotland have scored for a while.
“Hopefully, that can help get the fans off their seats if we’re playing expansive football.
“It was a bad start (to go 1-0 down) and it took a lot of character and was a big test to come through what we came through.
“To go 3-1 up takes a lot of courage and even in the last game against Albania people were saying it should be a walkover.
“But Wales were beaten by Albania on Tuesday and they played a strong team with Gareth Bale playing.
“I think that needs to be recognised as well because we took the form from that game into the Israel game which is nice.”
For Fraser, two victories to finish off the calendar year is the perfect send-off for this Scotland side as they await their fate for the European Championship qualifying proper.
The victory over Israel saw the Scots win their Nations League group and gain promotion to League B – but also gave them a back-up chance through a play-off, should they fail in the traditional method of qualifying.
The Aberdonian, however, says the unity in the squad can see them avoid even needing the play-off.
“For these two games the togetherness has been massive,” he added.
“I’ve been doing stuff with Graeme Shinnie going for food and things on days off.
“When you know each other’s backgrounds it makes you want to fight even more for them.
“It’s hard when you only see them in international squads which can be only four or five games a season.
“But you want to fight for them and when you do things together on days off and know their backgrounds you want to fight for them even more.
“Shinnie and I have known each other for a long time and it’s always good to catch up.
“It was good to see Graeme make his first competitive appearance against Israel and it’s great to see him doing well.”
Former Dundee United man Stuart Armstrong echoed the belief the squad has in each other.
He said: “It’s been a great pleasure to join up with the squad over the last three months and to get something out of it, some progress is a great feeling.
“It’s not often Scotland top a group and that’s something we’re really pleased about. We’ve been good in recent years and been nearly there, just missing out here and there but on Tuesday we won, we top the group and can be happy.
“I think we’re very together as a team and there is a lot of belief, a lot of unity and a lot of confidence and the win on Tuesday only enhances that.”