I’m really excited for Scotland’s Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia tomorrow night.
It’s a massive game and there is huge pressure on our players. How does Steve Clarke approach it?
For me, it’s better to keep things simple. Don’t change too much. We need to remember that these boys play at a high level every week.
This group has come through so much this year, even with a depleted squad for some of the recent games.
Throughout the setbacks and the successes, they’ve shown real character and I’m so proud of them.
We’re quick to pan the national team so let’s give credit where credit’s due.
It was a huge honour for me to represent my country and I know what a lot of them will have gone through. You’re on a hiding to nothing at times.
There’s no way of escaping the criticism when other smaller nations qualify for tournaments.
But we are on the verge of going to one for the first time in over two decades and, whatever happens, Steve and the squad deserve a lot of praise.
As an ex-international, I’d love to watch Scotland in a major tournament again. I didn’t get there as a player so it’s on my bucket list.
Tomorrow night could go either way.
What is encouraging for us is that we’re not just relying on one key player – we’ve got experience all over the pitch.
Andy Robertson, a Champions League winner with Liverpool. John McGinn has been outstanding in the English Premier League for Aston Villa.
Big Marshy in goals has been magnificent. What a career he’s had at club and international level.
Lyndon Dykes will be really important and it’s been brilliant to see him do well up front for Scotland.
He can get us up the pitch and we’ve got a few guys who can link up with him, including McGinn and potentially Ryan Christie or Stuart Armstrong.
To have a player of Leigh Griffiths’ calibre to come off the bench is a huge boost.
I’ve known him for years and he’s always loved playing football, scoring goals and proving people wrong. This is his time to shine.
His free-kicks are unbelievable and he is also great in the air for his size. I’m confident he can make an impact against Serbia.
With Ryan Fraser out, who partners Dykes?
Christie and Armstrong are both really talented players. I think Christie is more of a goal threat but Armstrong is also a danger in the opposition box.
In defence, Scott McTominay and Declan Gallagher look certain to start and I think Kieran Tierney is probably the best man for the left-sided centre-back role.
But it’s important to remember just how well Andy Considine performed against Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
He was absolutely brilliant. Quite a few people doubted he could make the step up to international level but he proved them wrong.
I was in goals the night Holland battered us 6-0 in Amsterdam to seal their place at Euro 2004 and it was horrible. What a team they had – Edwin Van der Sar in goals, a young Wesley Sneijder in midfield alongside Edgar Davids and Ruud van Nistelrooy up front.
Arjen Robben didn’t even get off their bench, which shows the kind of quality we were up against.
We fell at the final hurdle and it hurt. Nearly 17 years on from that disappointment, I’m convinced we have a group of players who are ready to take us to a major tournament.
I watched the first half of St Johnstone against Dundee United the other night and it wasn’t great.
I know there’s been a lot of talk about United’s style of football this season but I’d take an ugly victory every single Saturday of my career.
Under Martin O’Neill at Celtic we had variety – I could lump it up to big Sutty and play off the scraps, we could go down the wings to Didier Agathe or Bobby Petta and at times we played through Stiliyan Petrov.
The choices were unbelievable.
Where Micky Mellon and Dundee United are concerned, they’ve come up from the Championship and the first thing they need to do is consolidate and get points on the board.
Not every game is going to be a classic and you can’t expect them to take control of every match.