Lawrence Shankland has joked that he won’t feel like an established Scotland player until he has done an Andy Robertson and sampled Champions League glory.
The Dundee United striker saw it as a huge compliment when national coach Steve Clarke picked him for his last squad even though he was injured.
Shankland now hopes to be selected again today when the squad for the play-off semi-final against Israel is announced at Hampden.
However, he is taking nothing for granted, despite scoring in successive games for his club against first St Mirren then Hamilton Accies.
He will be absolutely thrilled if he can add to the caps he won against Russia and San Marino, grabbing his first goal for his country against the latter, but he quipped that he won’t relax until he has achieved what former United left-back Robertson – the current captain of the Scots – has done with Liverpool.
Shankland said: “Do I feel like an established Scotland player now? No, not at all.
“I don’t think you can ever feel like an established member of the Scotland squad because there are so many people who can be picked all the time.
“You see that because there are different players in every squad.
“I don’t think you can ever get into that comfort zone unless you are Andy Robertson and have won a Champions League medal. He’s all right!
“Unfortunately I don’t have that yet!
“I will call myself established if I ever get one of them. Until then I will just have to ensure I’m on form and in the best shape as I can be.”
The clash with the Israelis a week on Thursday is arguably the Scots’ biggest game for years and Shankland would love to play his part.
He could, of course, have already faced the same opposition, who were in Glasgow for a Nations league group game earlier this month.
However, he had to withdraw from the squad because of a chronic ankle injury, also missing the win in the Czech Republic over their shadow side three days later.
If he is picked, Shankland will face a hectic first half of October, with United playing Livingston this Friday, Israel’s Hampden visit six days later, Scotland v Slovakia on the 11th and a home game against the Czechs on the 14th.
Having been sidelined for so much of the season, though, the Tannadice striker is raring to go.
Shankland said: “First and foremost I missed a lot of football here at United and then missed out with Scotland.
“I was still picked for the squad but it was probably a week too early and I didn’t get the opportunity to go.
“I was quite pleased with that (getting selected) because it meant I even had a chance despite having missed a few games through injury.
“The manager had obviously seen enough before to see that I could do a job if fit.
“I was obviously gutted to miss out but it was good to see the lads here at United get a couple of good results and Scotland got a win in the Czech Republic, as well as the draw with Israel.
“So there were points on the board for both teams.
“I am back now, fit and ready to go as we build up to the next Scotland squad.
“Every footballer wants to play for their national team – they want to be involved at that level.
“It is a big stage on which to show what you can do,” added Shankland.
“For me, I am just glad to be going back out on to the pitch and I’m looking forward to getting even more games under my belt.
“If I can find good form then I will be in with a shout.”
Having to pull out of the last squad meant Shankland had to watch on TV as Lyndon Dykes led the line against the Israelis and Czechs.
The former Livingston man, now at Queens Park Rangers, is probably Clarke’s number one choice but the United player could still get game time.
Shankland added: “If you are not on form and doing well then you are not going to get picked if others are doing well.
“It’s not that difficult to work out, to be honest.
“It’s just the environment we are in.
“There is competition and the team needs to be as strong as it can be.”