Kevin McDonald believes the Uefa Nations League has allowed Scotland to find their spirit.
The former Dundee man insists the new competition, brought in to replace mid-season friendlies, has given a competitive edge to international football the Scots thrive under.
Evidence of its effect on the national team came on Monday night as they ran out 2-0 winners over Albania at a rain-drenched Hampden Park.
Alex McLeish’s side dominated most of the 90 minutes, with the visitors only really threatening on the break, and took control in the second half.
A Berat Djimshiti own goal on 47 minutes, which many in attendance thought was a Steven Naismith goal, and one on 68 minutes which was no doubt the Hearts man’s, saw Scotland rise to the top of Group C1.
And 29-year-old McDonald was delighted with the result and performance.
“We dominated most of the game and never really felt under too much pressure and it was a real solid performance,” he said.
“Right from the first minute we set our stall out and it went on the full 90 minutes that way.
“The gaffer wants us to try to play and build up a bit but when we lose the ball he wants us to press straight away.
“That’s exactly what we did and it worked fantastic.
“You could hear the crowd were happy with the performance and we really stuck together out there.
“On another day it could be 5-0. We won 2-0 and I was buzzing for Naisy to get a couple of goals.
“It was a positive night.”
When asked about whether the squad find the new Uefa Nations League beneficial, the Carnoustie-raised midfielder added: “Friendlies are different, it’s hard with friendlies being so laid back.
“Now the chance of the Nations League – it’s fantastic for everyone involved.
“Those competitive games are fantastic to play. There was a real spirit among the boys and we looked good.”
Ahead of their next group clash away to Israel next month, McDonald hopes an attractive style of play and positive results can bring fans back.
Just 17,455 were at Hampden on Monday night to witness Scotland’s first win under McLeish as the future of the national stadium remains shrouded in doubt.
“To get the fans back on our side they want to see some good football and they want to see us winning and we can only do that by putting in performances.
“I’m sure if we continue to do that the fans will come back.
“Regardless of if it’s home or away we want to go out and win, it’s that simple.
“We’re going to try to win every single game we can and putting in performances like Monday night then, if we continue to play that way, I’m sure we’ll be close to winning that group.”
And McDonald hopes to continue to be involved in a dark blue shirt, as long as he can stay in the Fulham starting line-up.
After making the step up to the Premier League this season, the West London club have invested heavily in their squad.
However, McDonald believes the competition for places can only benefit himslef and fellow-Scot Tom Cairney – not included in the latest squad.
He added: “We’ve brought in some high-quality players and we know there’ll be a lot of rotation this season which is probably what we need.
“We’re all aiming towards the same goal to stay in the Premier League and I want to play as much as I can.
“It’s good the manager lives that way, he lives not far from Fulham, so that can only be a positive especially with the football we’re playing. He’s been impressed with myself and Tom so, hopefully, it stays that way.”