Leigh Griffiths is refusing to take his Scotland place for granted despite scoring those wonder goals against England.
The Celtic striker has every right to think his name will be the first on manager Gordon Strachan’s teamsheet in Vilnius tomorrow night.
The Scots have to beat Lithuania in their World Cup Group F qualifier on the plastic pitch at the LFF Stadium and then take the expected three points against Malta at home on Monday if they are to have any chance of qualification for the finals in Russia next summer.
For a few magical moments back in June, the picture appeared to be a lot rosier.
It looked like former Dundee frontman Griffiths had conjured up one of the most magical victories in the nation’s history until Harry Kane ruined everything by scoring an equaliser in injury-time for the Auld Enemy.
The sights and sounds of sheer jubilation after Griffiths’ second setpiece went in to make it 2-1 to the Scots will live long in the memory of all lucky enough to be inside the national stadium that day despite the unhappy ending.
Indeed, the player himself admitted that any time he needs cheered up he watches footage of his remarkable feat.
However, Griffiths claimed he isn’t even sure if he will be in the starting line-up against the Lithuanians.
He said: “I couldn’t tell you how many times I have watched those goals but whenever I am in a bad mood, coming home from training or after a game, I will put the game on and it will make me smile.
“It means a lot to me but it wasn’t just that I had scored, it was the magnitude of the game.
“To score two goals against anybody for your country would be good but to do it against the Auld Enemy was magic.
“It is something I will never forget.
“Obviously the England game was a high.
“Everybody was on a high after it but especially me.
“But it is a new game now.
“I need to look forward and try to work my way into the side for the Lithuania game.
“If the manager decides to go down a different route I will be on the bench ready to come on and try to give him a lift.
“In international football you can’t take anything for granted.
“The manager is going to pick 11 players who he thinks can go and win that game.
“He also has willing players on the bench who he can choose to bring on and change things.
“As I say, I can’t take anything for granted.
“I scored two goals against England but that’s gone now. I need to look forward.”
Over the years, Griffiths has had to be patient to say the least when it comes to getting game time for his country but he insisted sitting on the bench or even being left out of squads has never gotten him down.
“I would think that I wasn’t in favour if I got left out a number of squads in succession,” he added.
“However, the fact I am always in squads and I get an opportunity to play, that means I must be doing something right.
“You have got train well all week, be doing things at club level and force your way into the manager’s plans.
“It is not about proving people wrong for me.
“It is about folk just opening their eyes and seeing what they’ve got in front of them.
“I know myself that I’m good enough.
“When you speak to my teammates they always say I’m good enough.
“Indeed, I have never had a manager say I wasn’t good enough.
“So I am always on the training pitch when I’m fit, trying to work on my weaknesses and trying to get better.
“You’ve seen over the last 18 months in that period working with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic that my game has come on leaps and bounds.”
Should he, as expected, lead the line then Griffiths will adopt a shoot-on-sight policy.
He added: “If a chance falls to me within 20, 25 yards I’m having a shot at goal.
“If it goes in it goes in. If not, I will wait for another chance.
“You might not get many chances so you try to make the first one count.
“I think after my miss against Slovenia, when I hit the bar, I thought to myself: ‘Is this ever going to happen.’
“Then I hit the post two minutes later and thought: ‘Well, it’s definitely not meant to be!’
“Then the England game obviously speaks for itself.
“You could see the joy on my face when I scored the first and the second one was even better.
“Hopefully, I can add to my tally on Friday night.”