Steve Clarke might just have kept the flames of interest flickering in Scotland fans through the 3-1 win over Kazakhstan in midweek.
With three wins on the bounce and even with a poor crowd at Hampden, with pricing for the games too costly for many, the result keeps the pot boiling.
The team are into the play-offs to try to reach the 2020 Euro finals and after some positive signs in the second half performance, fans who were losing interest may give the international side another chance.
With club football far and away more important to most supporters, the national side are more of luxury add-on item than in years gone by.
Like all other such goods, folk will pay the price if they have the money and if the goods are of sufficient quality.
Too often in the past the merchandise in Scotland strips was like lambs-wool masquerading as cashmere.
There are some signs that the quality assurance department has been on the case.
There’s still a ‘buyer beware’ sign attached to the national team, but there are now cautious grounds for giving the goods another try.
* This could be a defining day in the Championship.
Dundee must win in Inverness to stay on Dundee United’s coat-tails.
Even with a game in hand over the Tannadice side, United’s 12-point lead is huge.
United could yet stumble and hit a poor vein of form but they proved last Saturday to the doubters they are no one man team.
Even without their goal machine Lawrence Shankland, they put three goals past Queen of the South, a team who’d hammered them just last month.
They have the look of champions and will take some reeling in, so the Dark Blues need to stay as close as possible.
As I’ve said from the start of the season I think United will win automatic promotion so Dundee’s best bet is a second place finish and to come up via the play-offs.
James McPake’s admission that they won’t be active in the January transfer window is a wise decision.
It means he can concentrate fully on continuing to shape his squad without the disruption of new faces coming in and potentially unsettling the dressing room.
It also means that he doesn’t have to scurry about in a window which more often than not provides signings who aren’t fit, are off form, or unwanted elsewhere.
The squad are good enough to come up via the play offs. The task is obviously to continue to try to catch the neighbours, but more realistically to continue to improve for the scrap which lies ahead.
* Last Sunday with Gordon Strachan I attended the local Kanzen Karate club 10th birthday celebrations.
Strachan was surrounded by well-wishers wanting their pictures taken and to chat, and he showed his class by being available to one and all despite being seriously under the weather with a bug.
It was a masterclass from a high profile public figure, and his reception from the 250 folk present showed the great regard the man who started his football career in Dundee is held in.