Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain has revealed the burning desire he has to get back involved in the Scotland set-up.
Bain produced a virtuoso display in front of national coach Gordon Strachan as the Dark Blues drew 1-1 at home against Hibs on Sunday to earn their first Premiership point of the season.
Strachan, of course, is the man who left Bain out of his squad for Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Lithuania and the Hampden meeting with Malta next Monday.
Instead, with a space freed up in the three-man goalie group by the injury to Hull’s David Marshall, the manager chose to go leftfield and pick Millwall number one Jordan Archer for the first time ahead of both Bain and Jack Hamilton of Hearts.
In a frank admission, Bain said that he has maybe deserved to have been overlooked in the past because of a drop in his usual high standards.
Now, though, after a string of top-drawer saves right in front of Strachan, who looked on from his seat in the main stand at Dens, Bain is hoping for another chance at international level after being involved in previous squads from 2015 without actually getting a cap.
Admitting it will be frustrating to be sitting in front of the TV on Friday night instead of backing up Craig Gordon and Allan McGregor in Vilnius, the Dundee keeper said: “It is hard when you want to be in Scotland squads and you are not.
“Personally, I don’t think my performances have warranted a call-up though.
“So for me it is a case of now playing well so that I can’t be ignored.
“I would like to be banging on the door again.
“I am still only 25 so there is time for me yet but it is always there in the back of my mind that I want to be involved.
“I feel I could be there and that I have the ability to be there.
“I have not over-thought about it but it is a case of playing well enough that they can’t really overlook you.
“You have to ask the question then they can come and call you up.
“The Scotland thing is always something that has been around for me since I have been at Dundee and I do want it to come again.”
Bain was asked if Strachan had made contact with him to discuss his situation.
He replied: “No and I don’t think he needs to speak to anyone.
“He is the Scotland manager so has all the respect of all the players.
“If he wants to put you in he puts you in.
“It is his decision.
“I didn’t actually know he was at the Hibs match but I would have tried to play well regardless.”
Bain feels he is getting back to his best for his club and there is little doubt that if he keeps playing as well as he did against the Hibees then he has a realistic chance of getting back into contention for his country.
He said: “I was pleased with that display.
“I think over the three previous games my performances were getting there but it has been hard because we have been conceding goals and I haven’t been making saves.
“As a goalie, you need to realise that happens sometimes but against Hibs everything felt right.
“I just hoped that we could maybe have nicked a goal towards the end there because we were hanging on a little bit.
“I think we have played better in the other three league games than we did in this one. We certainly created a lot more chances.
“We feel we should be sitting with six or seven points at this stage.
“It is going to click, though.
“I think under the new gaffer (Neil McCann), I have been able to really show my ability, whether that be passing the ball to start off moves or commanding the penalty area, which I always try to do.
“I just think things are coming off for me again.”
As for the challenging spell he went through last season when he wasn’t quite himself, Bain added: “I don’t think my form dipped that much but sometimes during a difficult period for the team you get hard on yourself.
“We lost six games in a row last season and while I was thinking I was playing all right it was tough being in a team near the bottom of the league that was losing every week.
“Now I think it will come right for us.
“We have a young defence but the lads have been brilliant.
“I think I am the oldest in the back five at just 25.
“Kevin (Holt) is 24, Kerr (Waddell) is 19, Jack (Hendry) is 22 and Cammy (Kerr) is only 21.
“I think we have been defending with great maturity and they will only improve the longer they play together.”